Audits of oncology units – an effective and pragmatic approach
CITATION: Abratt, R. P., et al. 2017. Audits of oncology units – an effective and pragmatic approach. South African Medical Journal, 107(6):493-496, doi:10.7196/SAMJ.2017.v107i6.12356.
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj
Background. Audits of oncology units are part of all quality-assurance programmes. However, they do not always come across as pragmatic and helpful to staff. Objective. To report on the results of an online survey on the usefulness and impact of an audit process for oncology units. Methods. Staff in oncology units who were part of the audit process completed the audit self-assessment form for the unit. This was followed by a visit to each unit by an assessor, and then subsequent personal contact, usually via telephone. The audit self-assessment document listed quality-assurance measures or items in the physical and functional areas of the oncology unit. There were a total of 153 items included in the audit. The online survey took place in October 2016. The invitation to participate was sent to 59 oncology units at which staff members had completed the audit process. Results. The online survey was completed by 54 (41%) of the 132 potential respondents. The online survey found that the audit was very or extremely useful in maintaining personal professional standards in 89% of responses. The audit process and feedback was rated as very or extremely satisfactory in 80% and 81%, respectively. The self-assessment audit document was scored by survey respondents as very or extremely practical in 63% of responses. The feedback on the audit was that it was very or extremely helpful in formulating improvement plans in oncology units in 82% of responses. Major and minor changes that occurred as a result of the audit process were reported as 8% and 88%, respectively. Conclusion. The survey findings show that the audit process and its self- assessment document meet the aims of being helpful and pragmatic.