Quality in Optometry England Audit
Audit seeks to improve the quality and outcome of patient care by clinicians examining their practices against agreed standards and then modifying those practices where indicated. Clinical Audit is therefore about making sure that knowledge is being used to its best effect.
Use the audit tab above for the Record Keeping and Infection Control audits.
Other audits could take the form of internal practice audits, or participation in multi-practice audits.
Internal audits could look at a variety of topics including:
- Equipment levels
- Record keeping
- Rate of referrals
- Referral accuracy
- Response rates
- Clinical topics of interest
- Patient satisfaction surveys
Multi practice audits could be carried out by interested practitioners or the LOC. This type of audit can allow benchmarking of aspects of practice the creation of average levels and the comparison of similar topics between practices and can be anonymous if appropriate. It can be particularly interesting to compare your own figures with both the average and the spread of results from others.
The College publish a Framework document for clinical audit, together with recording sheets in Excel spreadsheet format which cover most of the above topics.
The following is an example of a simple audit that could be easily conducted in any optometric practice.
An optometrist in the practice notices that IOP readings missing from a few record cards when seeing existing patients
A practice meeting is convened:
- The meeting agrees to audit recording of IOP measurements in patients over 40 seen in the last year
- The meeting agrees to set a standard of 100%
A member of the practice support staff spends half a day a week looking through patient records
The results show only 80% of patients over 40 have IOPs recorded
An analysis of results shows that:
- 1 optometrist in the practice is not recording results that are "normal"
A second practice meeting is convened:
- The meeting agrees that all practitioners will record IOP results every time in all patients over 40
- One optometrist volunteers to speak to all colleagues to ensure compliance
- The meeting agrees to re-evaluate the situation after 6 months to ensure the effectiveness of the changes.