Standards for a clinical audit

Audits must meet the criteria and standards below in order to be evaluated. 

Criteria Standards
An acceptable rationale for the audit is provided  This must explain why the audit was worth doing
The audit must be conducted against agreed standards The origin of the standards must be stated. This must include a reference and state whether the standards are national, regional, network-wide or local. Justification must be given if there is local variation to other accepted standards e.g. nationally published.
Sample size and selection Sample size must be appropriate to the question posed by the audit and in consideration of other factors such as the number of specimens or the audit time frame.

The method of sample selection must be described e.g. random selection.

Data collection E.g. questionnaire, computer search, clinical notes review.
Analysis and interpretation A brief statement of the method of analysis must be given.
Identification and implementation of any changes required A completed action plan must be submitted, including re-audit date. The action plan must contain recommendations, responsibilities and timescale for implementation of changes, as well as details of who will review the action plan.
The re-audit stage of the cycle must be completed Reports of both the reaudit and previous audit must be provided.
The audit demonstrates evidence of one of the following:
  • benefit to patient care
  • benefit to health care professionals
  • benefit to the pathology service
  • continuing high quality of pathology service
  • deterioration in pathology service
  • continuing underperforming pathology service
  • deterioration in patient care.
The evidence should be fully described and supported by data in the audit reports.