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Improve patient care with a nursing audit

Nurses need a range of technical and soft skills to effectively care for their patients. Use nursing audits to make sure your workers have those skills, and identify where you could improve things

What is a nursing audit?

A nursing audit is a process health care professionals use to assess the quality of care by reviewing clinical records. Regular audits help ensure that health care facilities provide patients with quality care at all times. They also help improve care quality where necessary.

Table of contents:

1. How do you conduct a nursing audit?

1.1. General requirements

1.2. Resource management requirements

1.3. Quality assurance requirements

1.4. Process optimization requirements

2. Using digital nursing audit checklist software

How do you conduct a nursing audit?

A nursing audit is easier to conduct when you use a checklist. Checklists help managers determine whether patient care meets the standards of their health care institution. In addition, a checklist can help make the nursing audit process easier to review, which helps healthcare providers identify gaps in patient care.

The following four requirements are essential to any nursing audit:

1) General requirements

  • Evaluate your nursing quality management system (QMS)
  • Evaluating your quality management system starts with an internal audit. An internal QMS audit is the first and most important step to ensuring that your nurses are performing up to par.

  • Determine and meet patient needs
  • Are the patients receiving the best possible care? In order to provide it, you first have to make sure your facility is fully stocked and prepared to handle the number of incoming patients.

  • Comply with legal requirements
  • Especially in healthcare, compliance with federal and state legal requirements is of utmost importance. If a court of law deems that you don’t comply with said requirements, you may have to pay substantial fines and legal expenses. This could even result in your business permanently closing.

  • Manage important documents and records
  • A digital nursing audit checklist can help you organize required healthcare documentation, which can otherwise be a lot of unnecessary work. By using digital software, you can make sure that your records are easily accessible and all in one place.

2) Resource management requirements

  • Classify staff based on job titles in your care facility
  • In order to make the nursing audit process as seamless as possible, it’s a good idea to organize personnel based on job titles and assigned duties. With a digital checklist, this is as easy as clicking a button.

  • Organize training courses to ensure staff are competent
  • After every audit, it’s good practice to assign your nurses specific training courses based on their weaknesses.

  • Ensure a suitable infrastructure and working atmosphere
  • Oftentimes, employee attitudes are a reflection of the work culture. A negative or pessimistic environment doesn’t translate into thoughtful, empathetic nurses. To foster a more productive work culture, you can use the six sigma methodology that can isolate the factors harming your organization.

3) Quality assurance requirements

  • Find, check, evaluate, and implement patient requirements
  • Managing and meeting patient requirements is easy when you use a hospital patient satisfaction survey to understand what your patients need. The results of these surveys tell you which changes your patients want to see. From there, you can prioritize their suggestions.

  • Prioritize relevant processes
  • Prioritizing tasks is a necessity in any business. There will always be a wide range of things that need doing at any given time. However, with an efficient management system in place, quality work follows, because the most important tasks will be dealt with first.

  • Communicate effectively
  • Audits are pointless without an effective means of communication. In order to see change, you first have to establish where you want to see improvements. Finding areas for improvement could mean organizing regular team meetings or assigning tasks to employees.

4) Process optimization requirements

  • Evaluate care by measuring internal processes
  • The only effective way to analyze the work your nurses do is with objective data. Without quantitative or qualitative data, there’s no way to measure your facility’s patient-nurse relationship success. Transitioning to a paperless system for data collection where computers evaluate the results helps you audit quality with fewer errors, greater efficiency, and continuous improvement.

  • Examine errors and initiate preventive measures
  • Audits almost always turn up areas that need a little improvement. But you can also address future errors before they develop, using the results of your internal audits. Maybe the majority of your nurses exhibit poor bedside manner. You might schedule routine seminars or training sessions in order to get to the root cause of the problem and avoid it in the future.

  • Continuously improve and evaluate care
  • Assessing your quality management system isn’t a one-time thing. Nor is performing a nursing audit. To guarantee continuous improvement, constantly evaluate and reevaluate your nurses and their skills, such as bedside manner, critical thinking, care management, etc.

Nursing supplies including stethoscope and mask

Using digital nursing audit checklist software

Digitizing your nursing audit process helps save time and effort in the healthcare industry. With a mobile inspection app like Lumiform, healthcare professionals can prepare detailed medical SOAP reports and promote quality standards in patient care. Lumiform enables auditors to:

  • Create digital forms – The flexible form builder allows you to create new checklists at any time and adapt them as needed.
  • Schedule audits and create notifications – Schedule assignments for your employees to complete, and notify them of upcoming tasks and due dates. You can also immediately notify managers when problems are reported or when assignments become overdue.
  • Resolve problems faster – The data you collect from inspections is collected under the analysis tab. Here you can view your performance reports and separate them by time, location, and department. This helps you quickly identify the root cause of problems, so you can fix them more easily.
  • Track inspection performance – Keep an eye on your schedule so you can identify opportunities to increase your efficiency.

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