In 2013, the Education team at MercyAscot conducted training needs assessment for nurses. This identified gaps in knowledge and skills to perform clinical audits. In addition, audits that were included in professional portfolios by nurses were poorly performed and presented. We had no structured process for managing clinical audits. These findings prompted us to review our resources and processes of managing clinical audits across the organisation.
The Education and Quality departments collaborated to create resources and a structured process for managing clinical audits, supported by the creation of an e-learning course. A practical guide book included in the e-learning course illustrated the audit process in a story format to promote learner engagement and application to practice.
A comparison of pre and post-course questionnaires completed in the e-learning course indicated a 53% increase in nurses’ confidence in conducting a clinical audit after completing the course. An audit of portfolios submitted with an audit option between 2014 and 2016 showed a 29% improvement in meeting our portfolio requirements on first submission. This initiative was Highly Commended by the New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association (NZPSHA) in 2016 following entry into the ‘Leaders in Quality’ Awards and presented at the NZPSHA Seminar in March 2017.
As a direct result of providing a structured process, education and resources on auditing, nurses’ confidence in performing audits and presentation of audits in portfolios improved. Nurses were motivated to conduct more meaningful audits in their areas.