Definition

Audit is the process used by health professionals to assess, evaluate and improve care of patients in a systematic way in order to enhance their health and quality of life. Audit is a latin word meaning ―he hears‖ . in its modern sense, an audit is process whereby the accounts of business entities, including charities, trusts and professional firms, are subjected to security in such details as will enable the auditors to form an opinion as to their accuracy, truth and fairness. This opinion is embodied in an audit report.
Before conducting the audit, the auditor should examine the relevant books, statements and records. He should call for explanation on different aspects, ask for such information as he
deems fit. He should then apply his judgment in the light of all these available material. After going through all records, he will be able to certify that the cost is correct, true and fair.

Why do Audit?

• It is compulsory for Summative Assessment.
• It improves quality of care as both an outcome and by the process of performing the audit.
• It is an aid to continuing medical education.
• There is a sense of personal and professional achievement. It may lead to a publication and can improve a CV. The Educational benefit from Audit
• Audit allows a critical review of current information (keeping up to date).
• Audit highlights the need for specific knowledge/information, the acquisition of new skills and the development of existing ones.
• Audit improves communication skills and enables attitudes to be modified when working with other members of the Primary Care Team.
• Audit enables self evaluation‘.
• Audit promotes learning by answering the following questions:
1. What am I doing?
2. How am I doing it?
3. Why am I doing it in that way?
4. Can I do it better or differently?

Remember: When Constructing Criteria and Standards

• Make unambiguous statements
• Keep the task focused on the audit project
• Refer to the literature indicating current practice
• Choose criteria and standards in line with current practice
• Ensure the criteria and standards are based on fact;

Carrying out Audit for Summative Assessment

• The choice of audit where possible should be chosen with guidance from your trainer.
• The audit should not have been performed before in that practice.
• Teamwork is a prerequisite for the summative assessment audit, and must be explicit in the writing up of the audit. Teamwork can be shown in data collection, literature searches, and standard setting.
• It is hoped you will begin to form ideas within the first 2 months in of a general practice attachment. Allowing you time to review the literature, collect the data, analyse and write up the audit project within the next 4 months. It should be possible to complete the Audit project in the first 6-month practice attachment.

Main Features

The essential features of auditing are:
a. Critical review if the systems and procedure in an organization
b. Making such tests and enquiries as the auditor may consider necessary to form an opinion
c. Expressing the opinion
d. Ensuring that all necessary aspects have been taken into account.