ISSN - 0973-0958

Pediatric Oncall Journal

Neonatal flash audits. A tool for the future?
Neonatal flash audits. A tool for the future?
Presented in National Medical Students Paediatric Conference (NMSPC) 2014, Brighton, UK
Amy Huxtable, Monice Boyce.
Peninsula Medical School, UK.
Flash audits or random safety audits are a relatively novel technique for assessing elements of a department’s clinical practice in a concise fashion. Their role has been particularly useful in the neonatal environment. They have been found to be effective in quickly improving standards due to prompt feedback and increased awareness of areas like infection control. (1)

A department can identify a number of variables they would like to be audited over the coming weeks and months. In Derriford this ranges from number of soft toys in a cot to oxygen prescriptions to identification on all neonates. Any clinician, no matter what stage can conduct a flash audit as there should be pre-written proformas to complete. All occupied neonatal cots should be included, with exclusions or exceptions pre-determined if necessary. Results should then be inserted into an Excel Spreadsheet so comparison can be done with previous examples and other audit data. Posters describing results should be displayed around staffed areas suggesting improvements if appropriate.

The flash audit presented in the poster showed a troublingly low percentage of neonates with two forms of identification (37% only). Discussions and feedback with staff highlighted issues with ID bands supplied on the wards with regards to fragile neonatal skin and sores. Re-audit showed a vast improvement (73%).

Flash audits in the neonatal department are not only beneficial for the speed at which they can be done. They also allow for instant feedback and changes to be made. The relatively easy process means they can be completed by anyone from students to consultants or senior nurses. It must be appreciated that it is not always appropriate for some neonates to have ID bands due to their pre-mature fragile skin. Percentages can be improved by all tubes being correctly labelled for example.

  1. Lee L, Girish S, van den Berg E, Leaf A. Random safety audits in the neonatal unit. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2009;, 94: 116-119.  [CrossRef]  [PubMed]

Cite this article as:
Huxtable A, Boyce M. Neonatal flash audits-A tool for the future. Pediatr Oncall J. 2014;11. doi: 10.7199/ped.oncall.2014.12S
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