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Piloting online self-audit of methadone treatment in Irish general practice: results, reflections and educational outcomes

Van Hout, MC, Crowley, D, McBride, A and Delargy, I (2018) Piloting online self-audit of methadone treatment in Irish general practice: results, reflections and educational outcomes. BMC Medical Education. ISSN 1472-6920

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Open Access URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12909-018-1259-2 (Published version)


Background: Work based learning underpins the training and CPD of medical practitioners. Medical audit operates on two levels; individual self-assessment and professional/practice development. In Ireland, annual practice improvement audit is an essential requirement for the successful completion of continuous professional development (CPD) as determined by the regulatory body, the Irish Medical Council. All general practice (GP) doctors providing methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) in Ireland have a contractual obligation to partake in a yearly methadone practice audit. The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) as national training provider is tasked to facilitate this annual audit process. The purpose of this audit is to assess the quality of care provided to patients against an agreed set of national standards, enhance learning, and promote practice improvement and reflective practice. The aim was to present an online MTP self-audit and evaluate results from a 12-month pilot among GPs providing MMT in Ireland.
Method A mixed method study describing three phases (design and development, pilot/implementation and evaluation) of a new online self –audit tool was conducted. Descriptive and thematic analysis of audit and evaluation data was conducted.
Results: Survey Monkey is a suitable software package for the development and hosting of an easy to use online audit for MMT providing doctors. Analysis of the audit results found that the majority of GPs scored 80% or over for the 25 identified essential criteria for MMT provision. The evaluation of the GP audit experience underscores the positive outcomes of the online self-audit in terms of improving practice systems, encouraging reflective practice, enhanced patient care and doctor commitment to continued provision of MMT in addiction clinics and in primary care.
Conclusions: Results from this audit demonstrate a high level of compliance with best practise MMT guidelines by Irish GPs providing MMT. The online self-audit process was well received and encouraged reflective practice. The audit process hinged on the individual GP’s ability to review and critically analyse their professional practice, and manage change. This model of audit could be adapted and used to monitor the management of other chronic illnesses in general practice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1302 Curriculum And Pedagogy, 1117 Public Health And Health Services
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2018 11:02
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2023 16:00
DOI or ID number: 10.1186/s12909-018-1259-2
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8870
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