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Principles for Best Practice in Clinical Audit.
  1. A R Hart
  1. Consultant Gastroenterologist, West Norwich Hospital, Norwich, UK

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    By NHS, National Institute for Clinical Excellence, CHI (Commission for Health Improvement), Royal College of Nursing, University of Leicester. (Pp 196, paperback plus CD ROM; £19.95 for NHS staff and organisations, £29.95 for those not working for the NHS.) Radcliffe Medical Press, 2002. ISBN 1-85775-976-1.

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    This book is compiled by multiple authors from the disciplines of nursing, information technology, general practice, and audit and its preparation has been funded by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. The first section covers preparing for audit including details on sources of information, priorities for assessment, the purposes of audit and funding sources, as well as the skills needed for such projects. Subsequent chapters discuss selecting criteria for audit and how performance can be measured. The final chapters detail how audit can be used to make improvements and lead to sustained change. Each section is well referenced. Finally, there is a detailed glossary of audit terms, on-line references, further reading lists, as well as examples of current audit projects.

    The text is well written with its main strength being to describe a practical approach to the design and conduct of audit. The understanding of concepts is facilitated by a structured approach, a summary section of key points at the start of each chapter andmany illustrative examples from clinical practice. The book will be of great interest and relevance to all professionals in the health service who are involved in the clinical audit process. The book is value for money for staff working in the NHS at £19.95.

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    • The reviewers have been asked to rate these books in terms of four items: readability, how up to date they are, accuracy and reliability, and value for money, using simple four point scales. From their opinions we have derived an overall “star” rating: * = poor, ** = reasonable, *** = good, **** = excellent.

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