Audit and Quality Improvement

Audit and Quality Improvement

There is no single definition of quality improvement within healthcare. In general, the term ‘quality improvement’ refers to the systematic use of methods and tools to try to continuously improve quality of care and outcomes for patients. A guide to quality improvement tools.

Audit is a quality improvement cycle that involves measurement of the effectiveness of 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 health outcomes. Best practice in clinical audit.

Benefits for Fellows and members

  • Fellows and members may choose to undertake local re-audits after participating in a national project. One CPD credit is awarded for each hour taken to complete an audit, an additional credit can be claimed for completing a reflective learning record and a further credit is available for completing an impact record. Note, within each radiotherapy centre, there is usually an Audit Lead who liaises with the RCR.
  • Audit Library is a collection of audit templates, with downloadable data collection forms which can be adapted for local use. Audit Library provides ideas and methodologies for those looking for audits to undertake locally for revalidation or for planning the annual forward programme.
  • Abstracts of audit and QI ePosters accepted for display at Learning Live are published in Clinical Oncology and first and second prize winners receive cheques. Lead authors of ePosters are awarded three CPD credits and co-authors one credit.

Additional resources: Guide for clinical audit leads, Supporting information for appraisal and revalidation, Developing a clinical audit programme, Quality improvement – training for better outcomes.

Outputs from the RCR

The Clinical Oncology Quality Improvement and Audit Committee (COQIAC):

  • Highlights to stakeholders the contribution the specialty makes to safe, evidence-based and cost-effective patient care, and contributes meaningfully to the debate on the future of healthcare through RCR audit and QI publications in peer reviewed journals;
  • Supports Fellows and members to deliver the best care for patients with Audit Library;
  • Together with RCR Learning, the Committee supports our doctors to meet the challenges of practice by sharing ideas through RCR Learning content and the audit and QI ePoster competition at Learning Live;
  • Collaborates with guideline review working parties and contributes to the guideline consultation process, including production of audit templates for all guidelines.

Additional resources: HQIP guide for clinical audit, research and service review,   GI Cancer - Improvements in quality of care over the past 5 years,   The Health Foundation,   BMJ Open Quality,   Institute for Healthcare Improvement,   SQUIRE guidelines, HQIP statutory and mandatory requirements in clinical audit guidance.