Practice in Health and Social Care

A Case Study Representing Health and Social Care Practice

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Introduction

Health care organisations are responsible for offering quality services and treatments to the patients. The policies and procedures followed by social care firms also need to be properly formed and executed into the working environment. All these factors help service users in their effective treatment and fast recovery.

The purpose of the present study is to conduct clinical audit in the health-care organisation for identifying its quality of services with respect to the disease of the service users. Various audits have been conducted by the organisation for improving its working and services. As a specialist I like to conduct audit on the regular basis for providing proper and effective services to the patients. This helps in increasing their satisfaction level which leads to fast recovery.

For the present report, Care UK, a health care organisation is taken into consideration. The file includes clinical audit with proper strategies to improve the patient outcome. Along with this, it consists of applications of strategic thinking for enhancing the development by including local and organisational factors.

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Critical evaluation of the clinical audit

Being a specialist in the healthcare area of Care UK, I like to conduct clinical audit within the working environment of this specific area. The reason behind selection of this particular area is to check the quality and performance of the healthcare organisation with respect to the patients and their proper treatment. With the help of this audit, Care UK will be able to identify loopholes in its services.

Literature

According to Leong, Wilkie and Webb, 2012, “Clinical audit is a quality improvement process which seeks to improve and enhance the care as well as outcomes of the service users by properly reviewing the care”. This will help Care UK in determining its quality as per the decided quality standards which will help health-care firm in improving its services and making them more effective. On the other hand, Armellino and et.al., 2012 have stated that “The six pillars of the clinical governance lead to audit quality and performance properly. These pillars are clinical effectiveness, research and development, openness, risk management, education and training and clinical audit”. Along with this, according to Hamer and Collinson, 2014, “Clinical audit should include the assessment of: structure of care, process of care and outcome of the care. This results to provide effective strategies to the healthcare organisation for improving its quality and standard of services”. With reference to these statements, Care UK will be able to evaluate and review its performance and quality of services. This review will help social care firm in identifying if there is any need of change or improvement.

Research Gap

Various researches are conducted the clinical audit but there is no investigation with respect to Care UK. This study will help in bridging the gap between the researches regarding clinical audit.

Advantages and Limitations of the clinical audit

With the help of clinical audit in the service area of healthcare, Care UK will be able to provide more appropriate and high quality services to the patients. This will help in enhancing the satisfaction level of the service users by meeting their demands, desires and expectations.

Advantages and Limitations of Clinical Audit

With the help of clinical audit, Care UK will be able to improve its quality of treatments, medications and other services. This will lead to enhance recovery of the patients. In contrast to it, for proper audit, it is essential for the social care firm to pay proper and careful attention to the professional attitudes otherwise it can affect the outcome. On the other hand, clinical audit will help healthcare organisation in determining its weaknesses or loopholes which are providing dissatisfaction to the patients. By delivering high quality services, Care UK will gain competitive advantage in the market. Along with this, it will improve brand image and market position of the firm. But before conducting clinical audit and taking profit of all these advantages, it is necessary for Care UK to use coherent strategy. Otherwise, there are chances of losing valuable opportunities and effectiveness of audits.

Potential influence of clinical audit on patient care

Clinical audit is necessary for the healthcare area of Care UK for identifying health, safety and security of the patients. Proper suggestions of the clinical audit will help in enhancing the quality of services which will lead to improve the health, safety and security factor of the healthcare field. With the help of clinical audit, Care UK will continue to place a high focus on compassionate care, improve its timeliness and efficacy of care with the help of careful planning, monitoring the services on the regular basis for ensuring its effectiveness. By this, it will be able to provide e-learning for all the staff members for improving their leadership skills. All these improvements will directly impact positively on the health and safety of the service users.

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On the other hand, local policies will be used by the auditors for conducting the clinical audit with reference to the improvement in the quality of services and treatments. There are various standards set by UK government in the local policies which will help in identifying whether the standard of services is according to them or not. If not, then how Care UK can improve it for accomplishing the standards with respect to the local policies.

Aim and Objectives of the clinical audit

It is necessary for Care UK to define aim and objectives before conducting clinical audit within its working environment. These are as follows:

Aim:

To conduct an audit for developing Specialist Practice in Health and Social Care.

Objectives:

Importance of the setting aims and objectives

It is important to set aim and objectives before conducting audit within the working environment of the health care organisation. It is essential to clear the vision and goals before implementing the strategies. It helps in taking appropriate decisions for achieving objectives of the audit. Care UK can be able to identify whether it has achieved the objectives of audit or not. If not, then what are the reasons behind it.

Influence of aim and objectives on audit process

The aim and objectives of the audit will help in making the clinical audit specific instead of general. This will provide healthcare firm a direction in which it can improve the services for enhancing the patient care. Along with this, Care UK will be able to take appropriate actions for achieving the objectives and improving its specialists practices.

Standards for clinical audit

Audit standards are more specific than the objectives. These are quantifiable statements informing about the particular aspects of the patient care which a healthcare organisation intents to measure against the current practices. It leads to ensure social care firms that the best possible care is delivered to their service users. Some organisations select the standards available in the form of guidelines or protocols like national guidelines, local guidelines, etc. But it is necessary to keep in mind that the chosen guidelines should be effective and helpful for health-care in achieving its aim and objectives. On the other hand, some social care firms undertake literature for identifying the best practice and develop the standard accordingly.

Audit cycle

The audit cycle which will be followed by Care UK is as follows:

Preparing for audit

In this, Care UK will identify the problem which it is facing and wants to improve. After this, it will arrange the local resources with the funds as per the requirement of the issue. Healthcare professionals of the social care firm will contact their local audit lead if they have, for conducting audit and doing appropriate measures.

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Selecting criteria for audit review

In this stage, Care UK will choose an appropriate criteria for conducting the audit effectively. Social care organisation will have to develop proper standards for measuring the specialist practices against them.

Measuring level of performance

Performance with respect to the specialist practices will be measured by Care UK. It will determine whether the practices are matching with the standards or not.

Making Improvements

In this step, Care UK will work for making appropriate improvements in the area of specialist practices. Higher authorities of the social care firm will take appropriate decisions for improving the practices and providing high quality services to the patients.

Sustaining Improvements

In this, healthcare organisation will try to sustain the improvements by conducting the audit in particular interval of time. This will result to achieve objectives of the audit in a proper manner.

Critical discussion for need to involve in the audit design and collection of data

As a specialist in the healthcare area, I will like to involve audit lead for designing the process of audit and collecting relevant data. Along with this, I will also involve higher authorities of Care UK for their supervision and guidance. On the other hand, I will try to include only skilled and talented authorities who can help me to achieve objectives of the audit and suggest me right strategies for resolving the issues. Lead audit will help in selecting right strategies and approaches for completing the audit regarding specialist practices. His/her guidance will lead to conduct each and every activity in an appropriate manner and in decided time frame. In contrast to it, reason behind involving higher authorities is to take their permission for conducting audit. In addition, I will also include my subordinates for providing them information about the audit and making them skilled for it.

Critical predication for planning to collect data

For collecting the information with respect to the audit, I will use various sources. I will read journals, articles, books, etc. for identifying the best practices and understanding the concept of audit. This will help me in conducting audit in an effective and efficient manner. Along with this, I will gather information from previously conducted audits. The reports on the past audits will provide me information related to the issue, strategies used for resolving them, time period for completing, reviews against the standards, effective measures taken by the health-care organisation for making appropriate changes and many more. In contrast to it, I will collect data by filling questionnaire from the patients. This will lead to aware me about the opinion of the service users towards the problem and how they are handling it.

Critical evaluation of the planning for comparing performance with the decided standards

After collecting all the information, I will compare the obtained data with the decided standards. I will compare it in an appropriate way by giving attention to each and every aspect carefully. Any mistake or carelessness can lead to affect the overall result of the audit. Along with this, I will use appropriate tool for comparing the information. This will help me in getting outcomes in an appropriate way. Along with this, use of proper tool or software will also help in preventing the wastage of money, resources and time.

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Critical evaluation for identifying the results of this audit

After the comparison, I will get the results with respect to the specialist practices. For improving quality of the practices and making them as per the set standards, I will select appropriate strategies. I will provide training to the staff for making them expert and specialised in their field. Time to time training will also help them in updating their skills, knowledge and abilities with respect to the market trends and requirements. On the other hand, I will implement new equipment, instruments and machines for improving the quality of treatments. This will help me in providing appropriate results regarding the health issue of the patients. Along with this, I will improve the services of Care UK for providing safe and healthy environment to the service users. All these actions will result to improve the specialist practices of Care UK.

On the other hand, I will face various challenges while implementing the above decided actions. The challenges can be related to deadline, limitation of resources, inappropriate fund, improper allocation and utilisation of the resources etc. It is essential to take proper decisions for handling all these challenges and implementing the changes.

Conclusion

From the above study, it is concluded that audit plays an essential role in improving the services and treatments of the healthcare organisation. Care UK can improve its specialised practices by comparing current practices with the decided standards. On the other hand, it is important to plan properly otherwise any error or problem can affect the overall process of auditing. By handling challenges in an effective way, social care firm can implement the changes for improving its specialist practices.

References

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