Clinical effectiveness is a framework through which NHS organisations are accountable for continually improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care will flourish. It is the responsibility of all staff and each individual to keep themselves informed of new guidance and developments.
Clinical audit is a quality improvement process that seeks to improve patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change. Aspects of structure, processes and outcomes of care are selected and systematically evaluated against explicit criteria.
Where indicated, changes are implemented at an individual, team or service level and further monitoring is used to confirm improvement in healthcare delivery.
Clinical audit has provided a way in which the quality of care can be reviewed objectively, within an approach that is supportive and developmental. Changes in society have subjected all areas of professional practice to question and challenge.
Clinical audit provides clinicians with a systematic response that compares the care provided to best practice while preserving the central role of the clinical team in agreeing and implementing plans for change.