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03 November 2015
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Am I doing my audit correctly?

It is evident that GPs are investing a lot of time and effort into undertaking an audit, sometimes under challenging circumstances or where little opportunity for audit appears to exist. However, we still receive queries about what constitutes an audit. Some key pointers are included below to guide you:

In essence, a clinical audit is a "quality improvement process that seeks to improve the patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change".

Clinical audit is recognised as having three elements:

  • Measurement – measuring a specific element of clinical practice
  • Comparison – comparing results with the recognised standard
  • Evaluation – reflecting on outcome of audit and where indicated, changing practice accordingly

It is common that when undertaking an audit, doctors leave out the following key steps so be mindful to include these:

  • Comparing your activity against a guideline
  • Carrying out a re-audit

Should there come a time that the Medical Council starts requesting copies of the evidence of the CPD activities you record it will be expecting that your audits satisfy the above steps. Please refer to the audit toolkit and sample audits on the PCS webpage, which are there to practically demonstrate the audit cycle.