Healthcare audit refers to the process utilized by the health professionals to assess, evaluate, and improve the care of patients in a systematic way. It also evaluates the current practices if they meet the desired/set standards. It is an integral part of clinical governance aiming towards the safeguard of high quality of clinical care services offered to the patients.
Characteristics for a successful audit:
- Training and support for all staff involved in an adequate manner.
- Topic selection i.e. topic having high priority, or related to the area where the adherence to the recommended practices is very low.
- Support from the organization should be enlisted.
- A team approach is to involve all the relevant staff.
- Agree on the confidentiality of findings.
- Allow sufficient time for the audit to be performed.
- Good data collection techniques.
- Setting up realistic standards that are agreed upon by the team.
- Deliver intensive feedback
Types of Healthcare Audit are:
Audit in a healthcare setting helps to make sure that the healthcare units are working effectively and meeting the goals and proceeding in the right direction. It can happen in different sizes and the number of employees. Although, there are different types of healthcare audit which help the healthcare process in the long run and are as follows:
Random Audit- includes an unsystematic way for reviewing the samples of all kinds even some cases with large or small amounts of money. Here, focused is more on the amount of money spent /received from different claims. And this gives an idea of the organization is doing good or should be reviewed more closely rather than randomly.
Comprehensive Audit- it reviews the samples which were taken earlier also in a closer way and samples can be chosen either by electronic or manual means. It is generally used where the organization seeks a refund of money.
Hybrid Audit- it comprises both the random and comprehensive audit. Samples are taken randomly and in a comprehensive way. It is usually adopted in cases where accurate statistics are to be evaluated which can be further used in the future for the compensation of money spent for no reason.
Quality Improvement Audit- this type of audit goes throughout the year in order to improve the quality of care provided to the patient with cost-effectiveness. It selects different patients before progress in their condition and is then enrolled in the auditing process until they attain their optimal health again.
Conclusion: Healthcare auditing is beneficial for both the patient and hospital as it ensures that the hospital should provide cost-effective and quality care to the patients and hence promises to provide the best healthcare services and improves hospital efficiency. The main goal of auditing is to decrease the cost spent on both sides i.e. patient and providers. While conducting audits a number of areas are discovered where cost can be reduced. On the other side, a detailed analysis of the healthcare auditing process helps hospitals to keep up with the government regulations.