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Personal Practice Audit

A Personal Practice Audit



Conducting a practice audit is an important part of practice management and can be a step to better care. The usefulness of a personal practice audit, as described by Dr. Marshall Godwin[1], comes from its role in self-assessment and quality improvement in medicine. According to Dr. Godwin, a practice audit is "the practice of asking how well an activity is being conducted in practice, when compared with how well that activity should be conducted". The benchmark of how well am activity should be conducted is called ’the criterion standard’. A personal practice audit is a critical look at what as being done.

It is a personal audit, so that means it is done by you!


Dr. Godwin describes two types:

  1. process

  2. outcome



Process Audit: evaluates an activity that happen during the delivery of care

e.g. A rheumatologist might look at her scleroderma patients to see how many have had yearly screening for pulmonary hypertension, which is the standard.



Outcome Audit: evaluates the results of activities during the delivery of care

e.g. A rheumatologist might look at rheumatoid arthritis patients on biologic therapy to see how many have had adverse events related to therapy.



14 steps to completing an audit:

Nevit Dilmen, 2007 Creative Commons License
  1. Choose a topic

  2. Choose a criterion standard

  3. Write out your main audit question and secondary questions

  4. Decide which data you want to collect from the charts

  5. Design your data collection form

  6. Decide how many charts you will audit

  7. Decide how you will choose the charts

  8. Pull the charts and collect the data using the abstraction sheet

  9. Enter the data into the computer

  10. Answer your audit questions

  11. Present results and share them with colleagues

  12. Decide what changes you should make based on the results

  13. Implement the changes

  14. Re-audit after time has elapsed.[1]




1. Godwin M. Conducting a clinical practice audit. Fourteen steps to better patient care. Can Fam Physician2001;47(11): 2331-3. Available at: accessed: October 1, 2011.

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