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Nursing Audits & Their Relationship To Patient Care

Use the advantages of a digital nursing checklist to conduct an internal audit of your healthcare facilities. Get a concise definition and read about the four essential steps to conducting a nursing evaluation so that you know your patients are receiving the best possible care.

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What Is a Nursing Audit?

A nursing audit is a process by which health care professionals assess the quality of care through the review of clinical records. These regular audits help to ensure that health care facilities provide patients with quality care at all times. They also enable nursing managers to identify opportunities for improvement in nursing facilities.

This article informs about the following topics:

1. 4 essential steps to conducting a successful nursing audit

2. A digital nursing audit tool to support healthcare managers

Head nurse conducts a nursing audit with the help of a checklist

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How to Conduct a Successful Nursing Audit?

A checklist is a tool that can help aid a head nurse or other healthcare workers while conducting a nursing audit. It helps managers determine whether patient care meets the standards of the health care institution. In addition, a checklist can help make the nursing audit process easier to review. This can help healthcare providers identify gaps in patient care so that oversights or negligent behavior may be corrected before they result in poor patient outcomes.

The following four requirements are essential to conducting a succesful nursing evaulation:

1) General Requirements

  • Evaluate Your Nursing Quality Management System
  • Determining whether or not your healthcare facility has an effective quality management system starts with conducting an internal audit. However, this is the first and essentially the most important step to ensuring that your nurses are performing up to par.

  • Determine and Ensure Customer Needs
  • In this context, customer needs refer to patient needs. Are the patients receiving the best possible care? In order to answer this question, you first have to determine if your facility is fully stocked and prepared to handle the number of incoming patients.

  • Comply With Legal Requirements
  • Especially in healthcare, ensuring that your organization complies with all federal and state legal requirements is of utmost importance. If the court of law deems that you have failed to comply with any of these requirements, you may have to pay substantial fines and legal expenses. Worst case scenario, this could result in the permanent closure of your facility.

  • Manage Important Documents and Records
  • A digital nursing audit checklist can help you stay on top of all the required healthcare documentation—which we all know can be pretty taxing at times. With the use of digital software, you can be assured that your documents and 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 nurse auditing process as seamless as possible, it’s a good idea to organize personnel based on job titles and assigned duties. With digital technology, this is as easy as clicking a button.

  • Organize Training Courses to Ensure the Competence of the Staff
  • There’s no point in conducting an audit if there’s no plan to follow up. 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. If you have a toxic work environment, it most likely means productivity and quality levels suffer. The six sigma methodology is a helpful analytical tool that can isolate the variables responsible for these failures.

3) Quality Assurance Requirements

  • Find, Check, Evaluate, and Implement Customer Requirements
  • Again, in this context, customer requirements mean patient requests. Finding, checking, evaluating, and implementing customer requirements is easier with the aid of a hospital patient satisfaction survey. With these results, you know exactly the changes your best customers want to see out of you. From there, you can prioritize their suggestions.

  • Prioritize and Focus on All Relevant Processes
  • This is a good rule of thumb to have in any business expenditure. There’s always going to be an endless backlog of tasks that need doing and books that need keeping. However, with an efficient management system in place, quality will automatically follow because the most important task that is critical to patient satisfaction and care is guaranteed to be first on the to-do list.

  • Secure an Effective Means of Communication
  • Audits are pointless without an effective means of communication. It goes without saying that in order to see change, you first have to establish where you want to see improvements. Maybe this looks like orgnaizing regular team meetings or assigning tasks digitally through an app.

4) Process Optimization Requirements

  • Evaluate Care Through the Measurement, Analysis, and Improvement of Internal Processes
  • The only effective way to analyze the competency of your nurses is through cold, hard facts. Without quantitative or qualitative data, there’s no way to measure your facility's patient-nurse relationship success. Going through endless piles of paperwork can make this a tedious and daunting task. However, transitioning to a paperless system where computer analytics evaluate the data can lead to fewer errors, greater efficiency, and continuous improvement.

  • Examine Errors and Initiate Preventive Measures
  • Audits almost always turn up areas that need a little improvement. What they don’t always tell you is how you can prevent them from happening in the first place. This will take a little more effort on your part. Take a closer look at problem areas that the auditing process has revealed. Maybe the majority of your nurses exhibit poor bedside manner. However, telling your nurses to be more personable with their patients is a bandaid solution that doesn’t get to the root cause of the problem. Effective communication is a learned skill. Therefore, a preventative measure would be to schedule routine seminars or training sessions that address this issue.

  • Continously Improve and Evaluate Care
  • Assessing your quality management system isn’t a one-time thing. Nor is auditing the nursing process and medical records. To guarantee continuous improvement, you have to continuously evaluate and reevaluate the skills tailored to and honed for the nursing profession, such as bedside manner, critical thinking, care management, etc.

Nursing supplies including stethoscope and mask

How a Digital Tool Help Care Managers to Conduct Nursing Audits

Lumiform, the powerful mobile inspection app, helps healthcare institutions save time and effort in conducting care audits. With Lumiform, healthcare professionals can focus on writing comprehensive medical SOAP reports and promoting quality standards in patient care. Lumiform enables auditors to:

  • Create Digital Forms - The flexible form construction kit allows you to create new checklists at any time and to adapt them again and again.
  • Offer First-Class Customer Service - Lumiform’s excellent 24/7 support will reliably answer all your questions about the app when you need assistance using the tool.
  • Schedule Audits and Create Notifications - Schedule assignments for your employees to complete and who will then be notified of their upcoming tasks and due dates. Mangers will also be immediately notified when problems are reported or when assignments become overdue.
  • Resolve Problems Faster - The data you collect from inspections can be found under the analysis tab. Here you can view your performance reports and see them broken down by time, location, and department. This helps you quickly identify the root cause of problems, so you can fix them as quickly as possible.
  • Track Inspection Performance - Keep an eye on your schedule and use the information to identify opportunities to increase your efficiency.

A nurse in a white lab coat with a stethoscope around her neck

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