Clinical governance in practice : closing the loop with integrated audit systems.

Taylor, L. and Jones, Steven H. (2006) Clinical governance in practice : closing the loop with integrated audit systems. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 13 (2). pp. 228-233. ISSN 1351-0126

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Clinical governance has been acknowledged as the driving force behind National Health Service (NHS) reform since the government white paper outlined a new style of NHS in the UK in 1997. The framework of clinical governance ensures that NHS organizations 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 develop. A major component of a clinical governance framework requires utilizing audit procedures, which assess the effectiveness of current systems and ultimately direct continual quality improvement. This paper describes the audit component of a local clinical governance framework designed for a unit based within an NHS trust, which has utilized a multidisciplinary approach to assess the effectiveness of a newly commissioned service and its impact on the residents and staff. The unit is a 12-bedded, low-secure-intensive rehabilitation unit for clients with severe and enduring mental illness. Using recognized and standardized psychometric outcome measures, information was collected on clinical symptoms, social functioning, social behaviour, quality of life, relationship quality with named nurses and medication side-effects. Additionally, confidential staff measures were included to assess levels of burnout, identify expressed emotion and assess staff perception of models of illness. The paper includes a comprehensive account of how managerial commitment, teaching processes and application of technology ensured prompt data collection and maintained the momentum through the audit timescale. Data analysis and presentation of data in both clinical reviews and in senior management meetings within the unit are discussed. Findings highlight the full integration of the audit system into the processes of the unit. Clinically, the paper highlights the enhancement of the knowledge base of the client group and the influence on clinical decision-making processes and care delivery as a result of the audit. Brief clinical examples are given. In conclusion, the impact of the audit on unit strategy and organizational efficiency are discussed to highlight the importance of closing the audit loop and completing the cycle of clinical governance. The audit system has positive implications for replication in other services.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? audit integration • clinical audit • clinical governance • evidence-based practice • nursingphychiatric mental healthr medicine (general) ??
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Deposited On:
26 Feb 2010 13:16
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:07