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Clinical Audit: Examples and Types

21 March 2022


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  • Patient Safety

Clinical audits are an essential part of quality improvement processes in patient care. They measure the performance of various aspects of the clinical world to ensure that standards are being kept. In any areas that may not be up to scratch, there must be a structured process to bring about improvements.

Clinical governance is the overall picture of which clinical audits are a part. The aim is to ensure quality is maintained to a high standard and audits are the tool that measures this. It’s important to understand what defines clinical audit, and the clinical audit cycle.

Clinical audits don’t have to be complicated

Find out how

In this blog, we look at the types of clinical audits, and an example of a clinical audit.


Types of clinical audit

There are 2 main different types of clinical audit: national clinical audits and local clinical audits.

NHS England commissions and manages NCAPOP (the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme) audits. This consists of over 30 national audits around some common conditions. Local clinicians supply the data which is analysed to provide a national overview of care standards for that specific condition. Examples of these audits are:

  • Heart: National Adult Cardiac Surgery Audit
  • National Audit of Dementia (NAD)
  • National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA)
  • National Prostate Cancer Audit (NPCA)
  • National Epilepsy 12 Audit


Locally, these NCAPOP audits give trusts standards for their compliance and quality. Local NHS trusts in England and Wales can then identify where to improve outcomes for their patients.


Clinical audit example

When searching for audit examples, you may find a few clinical audit templates which are intended to be carried out on paper, or a basic system. It doesn’t need to be this difficult, with modern software like Radar Healthcare you can carry out clinical audits, in fact, the full clinical cycle, digitally so that it’s easy to track progress, make improvements and refer back to historical audits when the need arises.

Creating a new clinical audit in Radar Healthcare

Here’s an example of a clinical audit you can build in Radar Healthcare. This is based on patient records. You’re able to add in any questions you need, specify whether the question is mandatory, set up notifications and preview your audit on the right.

Screenshot of a clinical audit example in Radar Healthcare

When your staff are completing the audit, it’s easy for them to click their answer, and upload any supporting evidence in the form of images or documents.

Radar Healthcare supports all healthcare audits, with clinical just being one type. Below is an example of what your audit list can look like, where you can see the status of audits and their results in one place. If a score isn’t as expected, Radar Healthcare will instruct relevant staff to begin the necessary action plan to bring scores and therefore the quality of care back up. 

Screenshot of Radar Healthcare's audit list

Radar Healthcare offers many product modules which work together to drive improvements in care, for example, our risk management module, incident management module and our analytics module.

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