The role of health informatics in clinical audit: part of the problem or key to the solution?

J Eval Clin Pract. 2002 May;8(2):183-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2753.2002.00323.x.


The concepts of quality assurance (for which clinical audit is an essential part), evaluation and clinical governance each depend on the ability to derive and record measurements that describe clinical performance. Rapid IT developments have raised many new possibilities for managing health care. They have allowed for easier collection and processing of data in greater quantities. These developments have encouraged the growth of quality assurance as a key feature of health care delivery. In the past most of the emphasis has been on hospital information systems designed predominantly for the administration of patients and the management of financial performance. Large, hi-tech information system capacity does not guarantee quality information. The task of producing information that can be confidently used to monitor the quality of clinical care requires attention to key aspects of the design and operation of the audit. The Myocardial Infarction National Audit Project (MINAP) utilizes an IT-based system to collect and process data on large numbers of patients and make them readily available to contributing hospitals. The project shows that IT systems that employ rigorous health informatics methodologies can do much to improve the monitoring and provision of health care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Medical Audit*
  • Medical Informatics*
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy
  • Myocardial Reperfusion
  • State Medicine
  • United Kingdom