9. Audit

What can audit provide?*

Audit can benefit the care of patients by stimulating review and improvement of the way things are done. It is only useful if it leads to action for improvement. Audit can improve understanding of current practice, organisation or management (descriptive audit), give information about compliance with guidelines (compliance audit), or give information about the cause of an identified problem (diagnostic audit). It can reveal good practice, providing examples of better ways of working.  15851633, A useful guide to audit is downloadable from bottom of this page.

* Words used in this chapter (see glossary)

Clinical Audit: An evaluation method that enables the comparison of practices to established references, e.g. guidelines, using precise criteria, with the aim of measuring and improving the quality of practice. (France) A method to measure the gap between ideal practice (determined from evidence and guidelines) and actual practice. (UK).
Clinical Guideline: A document developed through the consensus process describing criteria for a clinical/medical practice.
Criterion: A principle or standard by which something may be judged or decided.

PDF icon R27 NHSBT audit guide overview.pdf64.3 KB