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Useful Resources

The following resources should be useful to clinical audit professionals or healthcare staff undertaking clinical audit work. All of these have been reviewed by the Clinical Audit Support Centre and come recommended.

Publications on Clinical Audit

New Principles of Best Practice in Clinical Audit

New Principles of Best Practice in Clinical Audit was published in 2011 and is the revised version of the original text published by NICE in 200. The latest version is authored by Robin Burgess and four core chapters have been authored by the Clinical Audit Support Centre team. To order your version online, click here.

Principles for Best Practice in Clinical Audit

Principles for Best Practice in Clinical Audit was published in 2002 and is endorsed by the Healthcare Commission and National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The document includes detailed information on how to prepare for and undertake a clinical audit project and is available via Radcliffe Medical Press Limited. The book can also be downloaded via the NICE website.

Other useful resources for undertaking clinical audit

Searching for Best Practice

NHS Evidence is an invaluable website (endorsed by NICE) for healthcare professionals and acts as a wonderful signpost to many excellent resources. NHS Evidence is a particularly useful resource for searching for best available evidence and determining clinical audit criteria and standards. All documents on the site have been peer reviewed and should therefore be high quality. Visitors to the site can view latest articles and search specialist libraries such as Cochrane and Medline. Visit www.evidence.nhs.uk

Clinical Audit, Research or Service Evaluation?

The National Research Ethics Service has created an excellent leaflet that defines research and helps you decide if a project requires review by a Research Ethics Committee. The guidance also sets out in tabular format the characteristics of research, clinical audit, service evaluation, surveillance and usual practice (in public health). To access the leaflet visit www.nres.nhs.uk/applications/is-your-project-research

Sample size calculator

Raosoft’s free Sample Size Calculator is an excellent resource that calculates appropriate samples. We would advise that in order to gain a statistically valid sample the following rules are observed: what margin of error can you accept? 5%
 what confidence level do you need? 95%
 what is the response distribution? 50% http://www.raosoft.com/samplesize.html

Selecting random samples

Clinical audit often involves selection of a random sample of patients or records for review. The website www.random.org has a number of useful features including a random sequence generator and a list randomizer.

Change management and action planning tools

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is a not-for-profit organisation leading the improvement of healthcare throughout the world. The IHI website includes a wide range of resources and materials, particularly in relation to change management concepts. IHI also offer a free electronic newsletter that you can sign up for via www.ihi.org

Publishing clinical audit projects

There is currently limited opportunity to publish clinical audit projects in the UK although journals appear increasingly interested in clinical audit work. If you have undertaken a clinical audit project and hope to get it published the two most recognised journals are CASC’s quarterly Clinical Audit Today and The Online Journal of Clinical Audits via www.clinicalaudits.com. Well known journals such as BMJ and speciality specific journals also publish clinical audit work from time-to-time.

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