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Audit and research in cardiothoracic anaesthesia 

Audit and research in cardiothoracic anaesthesia
Audit and research in cardiothoracic anaesthesia

Paul S. Myles

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date: 20 October 2020

Audit and other systematic programmes for recording adverse events and other measures of performance can reduce errors and promote a culture of patient safety in anaesthesia and surgery. Audit can identify outlier practices, and provide useful benchmarking data that eventually lead to improvements in care, and there is evidence that this works. Benchmarking requires consensus to identify and use specific clinical indicators, and such data should be complete and accurate. Clinical observation and experience, audit and cohort studies, and large pragmatic randomized trials provide a suite of approaches to enhance evidence-based practice. But it is randomized trials that are less prone to bias and so are more likely to be valid and reliable. Implementation research focuses on the crucial, but often neglected, step of translating research findings into everyday practice. Thus there is a complete cycle of audit, hypothesis generation, observational studies, large clinical trials, and uptake into clinical practice.

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