May 4, 2011 (Wednesday) - Audit

Today’s lunchtime seminar was a presentation of a couple of audits done in the blood bank. Following the presentation was a discussion on the concept of audit. I must admit I am still not sold on the idea of audits. I would be *if* they were done properly, and for the proper reasons, such as the audits mentioned in today’s presentation.

In theory audit is a useful tool which can find unexpected shortcomings in any system, and help to rectify these failures, and monitor their resolution. Too often this is overlooked. Or worse, not even considered – it is often enough that an audit is done. And that is terrible. Given that an individual or a department churns out one audit a month, the quality process is seen to have been done – even though (in reality) it hasn’t.
Having done the audit (how much time does fatso waste on his tea break?) nothing is done with the findings because nobody cares. All that matters is that “quality” is seen to have been done because an audit has been done.

So often it seems that it is far better to have a box folder bulging with meaningless audits than to have one or two audits that actually proved something. If only we as a profession could move to a culture where audit is part of an ongoing process of betterment rather than simply a box-ticking exercise….

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