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Title: External audit of clinical practice and medical decision making in a new Asian oncology center: results and implications for both developing and developed nations
Authors: Back, Michael ;Shakespeare, T.;Lu, J.J.;Lee, K.M.;Mukherjee, R.K.
Issue Date: Mar-2006
Source: Volume 64, Issue 3. pp. 941 947
Journal title: International Journal of Radiation: Oncology - Biology - Physics
Abstract: Purpose: The external audit of oncologist clinical practice is increasingly important because of the incorporation of audits into national maintenance of certification (MOC) programs. However, there are few reports of external audits of oncology practice or decision making. Our institution (The Cancer Institute, Singapore) was asked to externally audit an oncology department in a developing Asian nation, providing a unique opportunity to explore the feasibility of such a process. Methods and materials: We audited 100 randomly selected patients simulated for radiotherapy in 2003, using a previously reported audit instrument assessing clinical documentation/quality assurance and medical decision making. Results: Clinical documentation/quality assurance, decision making, and overall performance criteria were adequate 74.4%, 88.3%, and 80.2% of the time, respectively. Overall 52.0% of cases received suboptimal management. Multivariate analysis revealed palliative intent was associated with improved documentation/clinical quality assurance (p = 0.07), decision making (p = 0.007), overall performance (p = 0.003), and optimal treatment rates (p = 0.07); non-small-cell lung cancer or central nervous system primary sites were associated with better decision making (p = 0.001), overall performance (p = 0.03), and optimal treatment rates (p = 0.002). Conclusions: Despite the poor results, the external audit had several benefits. It identified learning needs for future targeting, and the auditor provided facilitating feedback to address systematic errors identified. Our experience was also helpful in refining our national revalidation audit instrument. The feasibility of the external audit supports the consideration of including audit in national MOC programs.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2005.08.027
Publicaton type: Journal Article
Keywords: Cancer
Appears in Collections:Oncology / Cancer

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