An Introduction to Clinical Audit for Radiographers
2. What is audit?
Audit is a well-established method of systematically measuring and analysing workplace processes that are already in place, with an aim to identify and implement improvements. Known as clinical audit in healthcare settings, this vital process can be explained as follows:
“Clinical audit is a way to find out if healthcare is being provided in line with standards [and allows] care providers and patients to know where their service is doing well and where there could be improvements. The aim is to allow quality improvement to take place where it is most helpful and will improve outcomes for patients." 2
Audit assesses routine activity and ensures that patients are receiving an effective service or treatment and that a high quality of care is consistently delivered. By working through a process of setting standards, observing practice, evaluating results, communication of results and when necessary implementing changes3 it provides a systematic process that allows us:
"to assess if we are doing what we should be doing in terms of the care we deliver to our patients"4