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Research Article

Survey of general practice audit in Leeds.

BMJ 1991; 302 doi: (Published 16 February 1991) Cite this as: BMJ 1991;302:390
  1. S J Webb,
  2. A C Dowell,
  3. P Heywood
  1. Department of General Practice, University of Leeds, St James's Hospital.


    OBJECTIVE--To determine general practitioners' attitudes to medical audit and to establish what initiatives are already being undertaken; to define future ideas for audit and perceived difficulties in implementing audit in primary care. DESIGN--Analysis of responses to a self administered postal questionnaire. SETTING--Urban conurbation with a population of about 750,000. PARTICIPANTS--386 general practitioners on the general medical list of Leeds Family Practitioner Committee. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Extent of recording of practice activity data and outcome measures and clinical data, use of data, and audit performed; ideas for audit and perceived difficulties. RESULTS--317 doctors responded to the questionnaire (individual response rate 82%) from 121 practices (practice response rate 88%). In all, 206 doctors thought that audit could improve the quality of care; 292 collected practice activity data, though 143 of them did not use it. A total of 111 doctors recorded some outcome measures, though half of them did not use them. Varying proportions of doctors had registers, for various diseases (136 had at least one register), disease management policies (60 doctors), and prescribing policies. In all, 184 doctors met monthly with other members of the primary health care team. CONCLUSIONS--Much poorly focused data collection is taking place. Some doctors have experience in setting up basic information systems and practice policies, and some audit is being performed. The family health services authorities need to take seriously the perceived difficulties of time, organisation, and resources concerned with audit.