|Step 1: Select a Topic
This step applies to the individual who has a choice in their audit topic. When designing your audit, pick an issue that interests you. You will find that you are more able to recognize nuances in your study when you have personal interest in the topic.
It is also important that your topic be an area of interest to the practice. Choose something that is viewed as important, perhaps a problem or an aspect of care that the providers have identified as needing improvement. The Joint Commission on Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) recommends choosing to study issues that are high frequency and/or high risk. You want to make sure your findings will be of interest to the group when your work is done!
Occasionally chart audits will be mandated by external bodies. A common example is insurance company reviews for HEDIS measures. When externally mandated, the auditing process may be prescribed in great detail and involve individuals with extensive experience in reviewing charts.
[For more information on HEDIS, see http://www.ncqa.org/HEDISQualityMeasurement.aspx]
Click on one of the images to view the example