Auditing: Death by a thousand paper cuts or the unheard client voice?

Lisa Furness

1Country Health SA Local Heath Network, PO Box 287, Rundle Mall, Adelaide, 5000.   lisa.furness2@sa.gov.au

Clinical auditing has long been utilised by health organisations as a tool for quality review in an integrated clinical governance framework.  Anecdotally auditing can suffer from an image problem amongst clinicians, despite widespread acknowledgement of usefulness in the quality system. This may include perceptions that auditing is a dry, highly intensive, “big brother”, detail driven review process that takes away precious time from direct client services in already stretched and busy teams. Auditing can be seen as an additional impost rather than a core professional activity.

This presentation serves to explore an alternative way to consider and manage attitudes towards auditing; to facilitate a shift from auditing being considered an onerous quality process, to that of liberating the unheard client voice.  Auditing can tell us an additional story regarding the quality of our services that we won’t hear directly from clients, that we won’t receive in consumer surveys and that we won’t know if we don’t go looking for it.  By presenting a change of the lens through which clinicians approach auditing, can this change our experience, our interpretation, our sense of value in the information gained and how we use this to improve services to clients?

The journey of revitalising clinical auditing through a change model that includes attention to this aspect of client centred focus (as giving voice to that which is otherwise unheard) will be shared to broaden this concept in deepening the authentic understanding of the service we provide as we continue our pursuit of excellence.

Biography

With a clinical background in Physiotherapy and post-graduate qualifications in business, Lisa has worked in both South Australia and the Northern Territory in a variety of clinical and leadership roles. This experience has led to a strong interest in how the complexity of contemporary health services can be best managed from the perspective of both clinicians and governing structures.