Clinical Audit: The ‘Original’ Quality Improvement process

As we come to the end of an excellent Clinical Audit Awareness Week (#CAAW18) which has exceeded my/our expectations – I wanted to use this blog to share some key messages that I have picked up from the #CAAW18 events that I have attended or have seen on twitter / our forum and align them with our (NQICAN) work going forward.

Firstly it has been great to see so many of the ideas suggested in our CAAW epack (as detailed in our last blog) to promote clinical audit used this week across the country and beyond. In particular its been great to see the message that clinical audit is a quality improvement process as defined by NICE in 2002 – promoted on the East Midlands Clinical Audit Network pens (below) by Chair & Audit Hero Marina Otley

EMCASNet pens

and in the #EM3 Lightning Learning publication that I helped produce:

Lightning Learning - Clinical Audit

The other message in the Lighting Learning I was hoping to highlight is the issue that often clinical audits are being called complete once action plans for improvement have been agreed. Agreeing actions is just the start as we implement ideas to bring improvement and measure how effective the intervention has been.  So we will be changing this at my Trust in Leicester and also in some trusts in the YEARN network following discussion yesterday. We did a NQICAN task and finish on this earlier in the year and it was clear that there is variation on this across the trust so this is something for trusts to consider going forward as potentially this gives out the wrong message especially if a quality improvement project.

There have been so many excellent local trust events this week – I have been very proud seeing stretched clinical audit teams and clinicians pulling together and promoting clinical audit. We have been trying to acknowledge some of the best events by giving away NQICAN pens and badges but I think we should say thank you in a different way. So to this end we will publish another blog once #CAAW18 is complete to celebrate the excellent efforts. We don’t have much resources to share but this won’t stop us saying thanks and continuing to develop our QI networks and our peer support. In the meantime we will share a picture from twitter of 2gether #CAAW18 board which they won in a recent NNSF competition.

2gether caaw18 board

During the week & throughout the year there have been several excellent clinical audit videos shared so we have decided to set up a NQICAN Youtube channel. We’ve uploaded a few videos to start of the channel including the presentation Sam Riley and I did at the recent NQICAN meeting on making data count and also a talk I did last month at the Ireland Clinical Audit Network (ICAN). I must admit I was abit nervous for the later (strange seeing myself on video) but the ICAN team have done a great job on producing the video so wanted to share. Hopefully in provides a good overview of NQICAN and our future plans. We we add in some of the local team videos to the channel if the trusts are happy shortly.

Finally it is great to also announce that NQICAN are working with NICE to test a proof of concept that Netsolving have been developing to make collaboration on local clinical audit easier providing tools & to track improvement. In summary NICE have produced this statement – “NICE is working with Net Solving & NQICAN to explore the feasibility of a common data entry platform for standardised local audits containing a feedback mechanism to NICE uptake data through the development and undertaking of a pilot test.”

We will share more details in due course on our forum.

So enjoy the rest of CAAW18 – look out for more HQIP Audit Heros, results of the CASC Junior doctor clinical audit competition and lots more local events. Lets continue the promotional work that we’ve started this week and aim to improve more patient care through clinical audit.


Carl Walker

N-QI-CAN Chair

@nqican @cwwalker10


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