Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the acceptability and educational impact of independent feedback on the clinical audit performance of different groups of healthcare professionals by trained colleagues. Design/methodology/approach – This is a pilot study involving review of the criterion audit and significant event analysis (SEA) attempts of west of Scotland dentists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, practice managers and nurse practitioners by trained colleagues using validated instruments. Audit, SEA and feedback reports were content‐analysed. Data on pre‐ and post‐study attitudes, experiences and knowledge levels were collected by questionnaire. T ‐tests for differences in mean group scores were calculated, along with 95 per cent confidence intervals for mean differences. A difference in mean scores of 1.0 or greater would be indicative of educational gain. Findings – A total of 34 participants submitted 54 audit and SEA reports, with 20 submitting both (58.9 per cent). In total, 14/20 audits (75.0 per cent) and 26/34 SEAs (76.5 per cent) contained evidence of appropriate learning needs and action(s) implemented for healthcare improvement. Feedback focused on knowledge and skills in applying audit methods; demonstrating insight into deficiencies; highlighting appropriate learning needs; and implementing change. Audit knowledge and skill scores increased by a mean difference of ≥1.0 for most stages of audit and SEA method ( p <0.001). Strong agreement on the value of independent feedback on clinical audit was reported. Research limitations/implications – The study highlights some of the difficulties in applying audit methods across professions and highlights the added value of feedback by trained colleagues, but is limited in size. Practical implications – Integrating clinical audit and peer feedback with continuing professional development obligations may facilitate greater engagement and more effective quality improvement, but will require a policy change and additional resource. Originality/value – This small study provides further evidence of the acceptability and educational impact of independent feedback on clinical audit performance for healthcare professionals.
Clinical Governance: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 7, 2009
Keywords: Clinical audit; Peer review; Feedback; Quality improvement
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