Radiology audits

Why, how, where?

Show that you are aware of clinical governance, which is an important part of the person specification, and that you have taken the time to complete a project in your chosen career area.

Why perform an audit?

Audit and clinical governance are an integral part of all clinical practice.  Participation shows you are motivated and dedicated; not only to radiology but to the activities expected of a conscientious and desirable radiology trainee.  An additional benefit is that you will look at a specific aspect of radiological practice to audit; in order to complete the audit you will learn about this area in depth and this knowledge and experience will be of use in the future.  Demonstrating your knowledge about this area in your interview will greatly work in your favour.

Also remember that the GMC has said that it is the duty of a doctor to participate in regular medical audit.

How do I design an audit?

First of all, you need an audit supervisor.  Ideally this should be a radiologist who can help you set your objectives, keep your project on track, and help you troubleshoot any issues.

Secondly, you need an audit topic.  It may be that the department you are in contact with have an idea for you in mind, but if you need inspiration an excellent source of radiological audit materials is RCR AuditLive, where there are 100+ audit recipes with standards, targets, audit data collection tools and guides, recommended sample sizes etc.  Utilising this resource cannot be recommended enough for the completion of a radiology-centred audit.

Where can I present my audit?

Why audit unless you share your findings?  A key element of audit is dissemination your findings and implementing recommendations for improvement.  An excellent way to do that is via and oral presentation in the department where you undertook the audit.  Another way to present is to submit an abstract to a congress or meeting for a poster or oral presentation.

Audit examples (RCR Audit Recipes)

  • X-ray confirmation of nasogastric tube placement: documentation in patient notes
  • Adequacy of cervical spine x-rays in trauma
  • Urgent CT Brain scans for LP
  • Compliance with NICE guidelines on head injury and CT brain