Clinical Governance and Service Improvement

Introduction

A clinical audit is a process that sees the healthcare practices currently in use at the institution examined comprehensively and rigorously. It may be carried out either internally or via a third-party company (Bwanga & Bwalya, 2021). The purpose of this examination is to ensure compliance with healthcare practices, identify opportunities for improvement and intercept breaches in procedure implementation, all of which are aimed at providing the best service to the patients.

The benefits of a proper audit are twofold and involve two primary stakeholders of the process, the patients and the healthcare staff, both of which derive mutual benefit from the other’s gain. The audit enhances the quality of services rendered by healthcare workers by identifying lapses in their current practices or exposing them to the novel, more advantageous treatment (Bwanga & Bwalya, 2021). Taken as a whole, these improvements translate into a better experience for patients and improved clinical outcomes. However, the weaknesses include professional isolation, hierarchal suspicions, fear of litigation, and clinical ownership (López-Campos et al., 2016). For example, in X-ray departments, audits for radiographers can involve resource management on reviewing workload trends, deploying staff and equipment, or reviewing compliance with imaging referral guidance (Whitley, 2020). Therefore, a critique of these measures is manifested in the fact that clinical audits and service improvement mean only applicable when they are justified by bringing more benefits than damages to the work process.

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Teamwork

Simply having actionable insights acquired from workers and patients is not enough, with the staff’s ability to leverage this knowledge as a collective body is another critical aspect of improving clinical service. Given the volume of preparation necessary to produce an accurate diagnosis and prescribe proper treatment and the number of people involved, the staff’s capacity for seamless teamwork gains crucial importance, according to Ramaswamy et al. (2017). The complexity of procedures and the emergence of multi-discipline treatments similarly pose the imperative for diverse teams capable of working effectively in tandem (Lundén et al., 2017). To that end, a variety of techniques can be used, from traditional workshops to more unorthodox teambuilding activities. As they are not concerned with strictly medical knowledge, the activities can assume virtually any form and be carried out in any context, be it a doctor’s office or a special recreational facility. Teamwork is relevant to clinical governance or service improvement project since it ensures collaboration and undisrupted workflow.

Conclusion

Overall, there appears to be a strong case that service improvement activities are an effective way to gather valuable data to be leveraged in enhancing the patient experience. Whether done as a tandem effort or in a stand-alone fashion, regular deployment of these measures should provide a reliable way to keep abreast of any consequential developments in a healthcare institution. A holistic approach to the internal examination will serve to address issues quickly and intercept nascent problems before they adversely impact the quality of healthcare services.

References

Bwanga, O., & Bwalya, M. (2021). Clinical audit in diagnostic radiography. British Journal of Medical & Health Sciences. Web.

López-Campos, J. L., Abad Arranz, M., Calero-Acuña, C., Romero-Valero, F., Ayerbe-García, R., Hidalgo-Molina, A., Aguilar-Pérez-Grovas, R. I., García-Gil, F., Casas-Maldonado, F., Caballero-Ballesteros, L., Sánchez-Palop, M., Pérez-Tejero, D., Segado, A., Calvo-Bonachera, J., Hernández-Sierra, B., Doménech, A., Arroyo-Varela, M., González-Vargas, F., & Cruz-Rueda, J. J. (2016). Guideline adherence in outpatient clinics for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Results from a clinical audit. PLOS ONE, 11(3), 1-13. Web.

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Lundén, M., Lundgren, S., Morrison-Helme, M., & Lepp, M. (2017). Professional development for radiographers and post graduate nurses in radiological interventions: building teamwork and vollaboration through drama. Radiography (Lond).

Ramaswamy, R. S., Tiwari, T., Ramaswamy, H. F., & Akinwande, O. (2017). Teamwork and communication in interventional radiology. Journal of Radiology Nursing. Web.

Whitley, A. S. (2020). An introduction to clinical audit for radiographers. ISRRT. Web.

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