What is a Chart Audit?
Purposes of the Chart Audits
Chart Audits in Quality Improvement
Planning a Chart Audit
Questions to Consider
How to Conduct an Audit
Check Your Understanding
Using Results for Quality Improvement

Using Results for Quality Improvement

The results of your audit are a key step in the QI cycle.

Six Sigma
In the Six Sigma model, chart audit is part of the Measurement step of DMAIC.

D: In the Define stage you identify the issue and the target group to be measured.
M: Under Measure you could use a chart audit to actually do the measurement and collect the data. It would be important to determine a statistically significant number of charts to audit, as the Six Sigma relies heavily on statistical tools to determine the impact and goal for improvement.
A: You would then Analyze the data to determine the corrective action.
I: In the Improvement phase you would implement the corrective action.
C: Chart audit can be used again as a tool of measurement for the Control phase to validate the impact of the change and monitor for any aberration.

In the FADE model, we’ve just completed the “Analyze” step (initial measure or baseline). If you’ve identified an area with room for improvement, a drill-down or root cause analysis may be in order to find out where the defect is -- what’s causing the performance to be less than optimal?

The next step is to Develop an intervention to correct the “defect”. What can be done to make things better? Be sure to involve all the stakeholders in the design process -- it will make your product better, and reduce resistance later.

Once you’ve implemented your intervention (Execute), you will want to repeat your audit (Evaluate), to measure the effect of the changes you’ve made. While you may want to “tweak” your audit to look at some more details, try to keep the second review as close to the original study design as possible, so the results will be comparable.

[See Module: What is Quality Improvement? for more detail on these models.]


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