The College of Optometrists

Audit principles

D47
If you are only using your existing patient record base for the purpose of audit you do not need to get patient consent since they have already given their consent to you creating and retaining their records. You must get patient consent if you are publishing any patient identifiable data.
D48
Normally audits can be undertaken without the requirement of ethical approval, however, there may be rare instances where the nature of the audit or the local guidelines mean it is necessary to get approval. The chart on Differentiating clinical audit, service evaluation, research and usual practice or surveillance work in public health gives some useful definitions of audit and research.262
D49
You should identify, and agree with other practice staff as appropriate, the audit:
  1. purpose
  2. scope
  3. topic, and
  4. criteria or standards.
D50
You should use an audit to measure the level of performance in your practice.
D51
You should use the results of your audit to inform changes and improvements in your practice.
D52
You should review any changes made on a regular basis.

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