Welcome to episode 28 of Continuous Quality Compliance
Today I am talking about Audit.
Audits is something the CQC look for in your organisation. Audits are important for any organisation to audit hat their processes are working.
Audit is a quality improvement process.
The definition of Audit is measures current practice against a defined (desired) standard. It forms part of clinical governance, which aims to safeguard a high quality of clinical care for patients. For Social care take out the word clinical
To check that staff are doing what they should be for instance when you audit good record keeping. The areas you need to audit will be dictated by what the organisation does but also bear in mind what he CQC are looking for in terms of the KLOE.
Audits need to be reviewed as well so ensure that the person doing the audit is not the one who should be checking it . Also ensure staff have training in how to do an audit. I have found audits not always developed well. They should not be just tick box exercise that is not the reason for audit. Audit should show if something is working if it’s not then it should be analysed and there should be a way to look at how to improve things.
Audits can look at:
- Structure of care
- Process of Care
- The Outcome of Care
The aim is to find out how the present provision compares with the desired standard. This information can then be used to plan improvements in the service.
The standards are the CQC Standards here . Audit is cyclical but please schedule it so you don’t do all audits in one go. Have then schedules over a period of 12 months. Look at frequency some you will only need to do annually. Some every 6 months, some quarterly, and weekly. These should be appropriate to your organisation and the audit requirements of the topic.
NICE has some audit tools especially for Clinical audit use those if appropriate I am a great advocate of not re-inventing the wheel.
If you are not sure of what audit need to take place then have a look at the patient/client pathway look at the patient journey and documents journey then look at which areas would be good to review. Remember you know that he areas that CQC ask about need audits but you also need to think of audits appropriate to your organisation.
Audits are about improvement and when you need to make changes you need to account for time who needs to be communicated etc, do staff require further training or refresher etc. Audits are not about blame they are about understanding that processes are working effectively.