Clinical audit is “a quality improvement cycle that involves measurement of the effectivenessof healthcare against agreed and proven standards for high quality, and taking action to bring practice in line with these standards so as to improve the quality of care and healthoutcomes.”1
Clinical radiology national audits are run by the Clinical Radiology Audit Committee. Members and Fellows may choose to undertake local re-audits after participating in a national project. Within each radiology department, there is usually a clinical radiology audit lead who liaises with the College. The College employs an audit officer to support audit work for its two Faculties.
AuditLive is a growing collection of audit templates, many with downloadable data collection forms which can be adapted for local use. AuditLive can provide ideas and methodologies for those looking for audits to undertake locally for revalidation or for planning the annual forward programme in clinical audit. Audit for Radiology Trainees identifies AuditLive templates which may be of particular relevance to those undergoing specialist training in clinical radiology. College standards, publications and guidance are an additional source of recommendations to audit against. An audit poster competition is held during the Clinical Radiology Annual Scientific Meeting.
In addition to material on this website, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, led by a consortium of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and others, provides extensive guidance and resources to increase the impact that audit has on healthcare quality.
Using quality improvement (QI) tools in audit
Undertaking audit can be thought of as a four-stage process involving preparation and planning, measuring performance, implementing change and sustaining improvement.2 Quality improvement tools can be used to achieve desired outcomes for any of these stages. The Guide to Using Quality Improvement Tools to Drive Clinical Audits describes how such tools work in detail and when to use them.3
Clinical Radiology Audit Forum
The Committee runs an annual audit forum which comprises presentations and discussions. The Forum attracts CPD credits, and clinical radiology audit leads pay a discounted rate. The 2015 Forum will take place on Monday 18 May at The Royal College of Radiologists, London. Members are encouraged to book online.
1. Burgess R (ed). NEW Principles for Best Practice in Clinical Audit. Abingdon: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd, 2011.
2. Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Criteria and Indicators of Best Practice in Clinical Audit. London: Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership Ltd (HQIP), 2009.
3. Dixon N, Pearce M. Guide to Using Quality Improvement Tools to Drive Clinical Audits. London: Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership Ltd (HQIP), 2011.