6.2 Making sure clinical audit gets done – the administrative side

A clinical audit team should include representatives from all groups involved in delivering veterinary care. All members of a practice team can lead or make a valuable contribution to audits, depending on the area being audited.

The auditing process is not a light undertaking, and lack of time and resources are frequently reported as the main barriers to undertaking clinical audit in human medicine. Administrative colleagues in a practice team are a source of valuable knowledge and expertise, as they have extensive experience that can be used to help smooth the process and make sure all the practicalities of the audit have been addressed.

Specific points to be addressed include:

  • Are there any team members with previous experience of clinical audit available to help with training colleagues?
  • Who within the practice will be responsible for collecting the data?
  • Are the data required for the audit collected routinely in electronic clinical records, case notes or databases?
  • Does an appropriate recording system exist in the practice (e.g. is a paper-based system most appropriate? How feasible is extracting the required data from the current practice computer-based system?)
  • Who will analyse the audit data?
  • Are the data collected for the audit fit for purpose?
  • With what will you compare the results you generate?
  • How will you disseminate the results, both within and outside the practice?