Audit is the process whereby clinical and administrative activities are subjected to rigorous quality control studies periodically or continuously so that standards of care are improved.
Clinical topics we investigate include:
- Conservation of the eye
- Preservation of vision
- Quality of life
- Results from the patient’s point of view (ie, ‘patient-related outcome measures’)
Administrative topics we audit include:
- Time between receipt of patient referral and first clinic appointment
- Time between first visit and treatment; Satisfaction of patients Satisfaction of referring ophthalmologists
We have a full-time data manager, who ensures that the database is correct and complete.
We have introduced a structured questionnaire for routinely eliciting and recording all ocular symptoms of all patients at every follow-up clinic.
We have also developed a system for recording accidents as well as ‘near-misses’, so that complications can be prevented.
The audit results are reviewed as soon as they become available.
Appropriate action is taken after discussions are held amongst members from different disciplines at our centre (i.e. multidisciplinary meetings).
The Department of Health has published standards, which must be met by cancer care providers and we assess our own results in terms of these standards.
Our centre is reviewed by peers from other ocular oncology centres in the UK to ensure that a high quality of care is maintained. A peer review in 2006 gave us a glowing report.
We also invite external assessors from other countries once a year. They inspect our service and write a report.
In addition, we provide our funding authority, NSCAG, with our own results upon request so that they can assess our performance.
Extracts from “The Protection and Use of Patient Information: Guidance from the Department of Health”
We keep information about you... together with details of your care. Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. You have a right of access to your health records.
We only ever use or pass on information about you if people have a genuine need for it in your and everyone’s interests. Whenever we can we shall remove details which identify you. The sharing of some types of very sensitive personal information is strictly controlled by law. Anyone who receives information about you is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
The main reasons for which your information may be needed are:
- Giving you health care and treatment
- Looking after the health of the general public
- Managing and planning the NHS Making sure that our services can meet patient needs in the futur
- Paying staff and the hospital which treats you for the care they provide
- Auditing accounts
- Preparing statistics on NHS performance and activity
- Investigating complaints and legal claims
- Helping staff to review the care they provide to make sure it is of the highest standard
- Training and educating staff (but you can choose whether or not to be involved personally)
- Research approved by the Local Research Ethics Committee. (If anything to do with the research would involve you personally, you will be contacted to see if you are willing to take part. You will not be identified in any published results without your agreement.)
If you agree your relatives, friends and carers will be kept up to date with the progress of your treatment.
If at any time you would like to know more about how we use your information, you can speak to the consultant ocular oncologist or the specialist ocular oncology nurse.