Research Article

Aspects of audit. 1. The background.

Br Med J 1980; 280 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.280.6226.1256 (Published 24 May 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;280:1256
  1. C D Shaw

    Abstract

    Methods of reviewing health care already exist in Britain, but the debate continues about how practical and acceptable such a review is. The many different terms used to describe review only confuse the issue. "Audit" is a useful term for describing the review of medical work by medical people. This can be divided into "internal audit," or peer review, and "external audit"--that is, review by organisations outside hospital and general practice. The concepts of internal and external audit have a great impact upon the attitudes held by the medical profession about audit. The shortcomings of audit by the professional standards review organisations in the United States are not inevitable in Britian.