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What is an audit in healthcare and how can digital technology help?

12 April 2023

Tags:

  • Audits
  • Our product

Getting to grips with our new and improved Audits module, featuring Product Owner, Alex Brooks

Following the launch of our new and improved audit management software, we held a Q&A with the Product Owner, Alex Brooks, to answer everything from why audits in healthcare are so important to what sets our audit management tool aside from the rest…

Hi Alex, please can you introduce yourself and your role?

Yes, sure. I joined Radar Healthcare in July 2022 as a Product Owner within the Product Management Team.  My main responsibility involves collaborating with stakeholders and listening to customers to help develop and improve our product offering and maximise the value that’s delivered to stakeholders, customers, and ultimately the end-user.   

One of my most recent projects is the new and improved Audits module – and it has been great to see that project come to life and be so well received by our partners. 

Why is auditing important in healthcare and how can digital technology help to add value?  

Auditing is essential in healthcare to help ensure that health and social care providers are following proper procedures and providing a high-level quality of care.  

Digital technology can improve efficiency and add real value to audits by automating certain tasks, such as data collection and analysis, and allowing for easier collaboration among team members. It can also provide real-time data and analytics, allowing for more informed decision-making and better identification of areas for improvement. 

A large number of our customers come to us, and they are using Excel spreadsheets or paper-based methods, which leads to a lot of duplication and errors, and is a time-intensive task. The right digital software can allow teams to communicate and collaborate better and ensure that audits are more accurate and consistent, reducing the risk of admin errors and, therefore, improving the overall quality of care.  

Radar Healthcare’s enhanced Audits module is a game changer! We are really impressed with how flexible and easy it is to create templates and duplicate questions. We LOVE the ability to reassign each section - this will save our teams a huge amount of time when building and completing audits.

Simon Smith, Quality and Governance Director - ERS Medical

As Product Owner how have you been involved in the new and improved Audits module?

My main responsibilities have been to host regular review and feedback sessions with the customers participating in the BETA programme, and then from this, working alongside the Product and Development teams to help develop the module and improve user experience.

We wanted to create a product that offers the most value to our customers. So, capturing partners’ ideas and suggestions has been pivotal to making final design decisions and has massively helped us to prioritise which improvements and changes to implement.

Before launching the Audits Management Software, we conducted a BETA testing group, which was a combination of all types of health and social care organisations to ensure we had a well-rounded group. From this, we held weekly catchups and recorded demonstration sessions, which allowed us to listen and watch how people were using the features as we released them. Observing these actions gave us invaluable insight into how the features were being used by the people who are going to be using them.

All our teams are extremely passionate about encouraging partner engagement and always take into consideration partners’ feedback. During this process, we implemented a lot of the suggestions provided by partners – and at the very least we asked people to share their ideas on our Community Forum to discuss them with other customers to help us get a feel for the demand.

The Radar Healthcare Team has been very responsive to our product development suggestions and it’s great to be working collaboratively to help develop the Audits module for both our needs and those of the wider health community.​

Jessica Lilley, Quality and Compliance Officer - Lakeside Healthcare

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How have partners, both in and out of the BETA testing group, responded to the new module?

It has been really well received by all our partners, who are excited to get started with the new module, and then the BETA testing group has also given a lot of positive feedback.

As you know, we have had a lot of testimonials, but things that really stood out to me were partners expressing that the module is going to be a game changer and something that really pushes and supports them to make positive changes.

Another partner said that being a part of the Audits BETA programme has been invaluable to them from a learning and system-understanding point of view. They expressed how being a part of the testing has enabled them to become Radar Healthcare experts, allowing them to be able to roll it out internally quicker.

Although, we plan to continue to develop our Audits Management Software, like all our modules this is an ever-evolving process, such great feedback really highlighted that we had achieved what we had set out to do and that was to create a product that makes a positive impact.

"We are looking forward to demonstrating to our Regulators, Commissioners and external stakeholders the quality assurance processes which the Enhanced Audits will provide. The themes and trend reporting from the audits will be invaluable for our strategic decision making and supporting our colleagues in the work they do.“

Ben Winfield, Quality Systems Manager - Lifeways

What feature have customers been the most impressed with?

The biggest thing is how flexible and easy it is to use. From a usability perspective, our partners have been extremely impressed with how much quicker they can build, schedule, and share audits.

One area that everyone has mentioned is the new Audit template builder. Within the new and improved Audits module, you can have more control over what your audit looks like by allowing you to drag and drop, duplicate, copy, and see a preview of what the audit looks like on screen. That new functionality has been a huge success and people are super impressed with how flexible and easy it is to use and how much quicker it is to build audits.

Our partners are also very impressed with the functionality of being able to change their response types. Rather than having to change the wording of a question to fit a certain response structure, we now can offer fully customisable responses.

In addition, our new Audits allow you to split an audit into multiple sections and then assign each section to significant roles or people. For example, if you have a large audit with many questions that aren’t able to sit in different templates, you can add in sections and assign different sections to the relevant roles or people, which means instead of one person having to start at the top of the audit and work their way through all the questions, which in some cases could take days, the audit can be shared and spilt out amongst team members. Our partners have found that this not only increases efficiency and saves time but improves collaboration and communication across teams.

We believe the enhanced Audits module will have a positive impact on our organisation’s governance and oversight arrangements, and we have already planned to use it for the National Cleaning Standards audit across our 8 regions and 14 locations - the enhanced Audit builder has made the development of this very detailed audit really simple and straightforward.

Jessica Lilley, Quality and Compliance Officer - Lakeside Healthcare

Learn more about Radar Healthcare’s new and improved audits module: 

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What sets Radar Healthcare’s Audit Management Software apart from other solutions on the market?

I think one of the great things about Radar Healthcare is it is an all-in-one solution, equipped with a range of interconnecting risk, quality, and compliance modules that are underpinned by our AI-powered analytics. So, modules like our new and improved Audits module can be cleverly linked to other modules to provide wider visibility of all compliance processes, reducing duplications, risks, and errors, as well as encouraging continuous improvement and learning.

One of our partners within the Audits BETA programme mentioned that they are really looking forward to using the analytics reporting dashboards to help spot themes and trends and using those dashboards to make strategic and data-driven decisions and add real value to their audits.

Working with Radar Healthcare is proving to be invaluable by bringing together all our incidents and events, audits, and continual improvements actions into one place. Empowering our workforce to be part of a proactive, caring, supportive environment, in which they can be proud to work.

Julie Spencer, Care and Quality Director, Avery Healthcare

Finally, what advice would you give to a health and social care organisation looking for new audit management software?  

When looking for new audit management software, it’s important to consider the specific needs and requirements of that particular organisation and make sure whatever software they’re looking at ticks the majority, if not all, of their requirements.  

There are lots of areas to consider, but some key factors to consider would be how user-friendly and easy it is to use. What’s web accessibility like? Can it be customised to your needs? There’s no point in implementing something that is extremely complicated to learn and navigate as front-line workers might not have the capacity or resources to learn or use it.  

It is important to look at the different aspects and needs of the business too. Would you benefit from implementing a solution that offers a range of modules, like Radar Healthcare? Also, it is good to know if it is interoperable with other software and systems.  

I think currently whatever software you are implementing, especially with audits, needs to have some form of reporting and analytics on the back of it. In its most basic form, something that identifies areas of improvement and helps drive actions.  

Lastly, it is also extremely important to consider the support provided by the supplier. Radar Healthcare, for example, is always highly credited for its support, from implementation to onboarding and further, but not all suppliers have the same customer-centric approach. I would recommend looking at review sites, like Capterra, and trying to speak to current customers to seek advice.   

Thank you for your time, Alex. Your insight has been invaluable!

For more information about how Radar Healthcare’s new and improved Audit Management Software can start adding real value to your audit processes, get in touch with our expert team here. 

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