AUDIT IS NOT ENOUGH
Auditing with AMaT brings IMPROVEMENT
With AMaT you can easily manage your results, actions and compliance, transforming your audit activity into fully complete and effective IMPROVEMENT activity
How can AMaT help YOU ?
The Audit Management and Tracking tool to streamline all of your auditing requirements into one simple, easy-to-use system.
- Audit activity dashboards & tables
- Step by step audit process
- Unlimited users
- Audit sharing & collaboration
- Action planning & monitoring
- Alerts & notifications
- Ward audit scheduling & reporting
- User development forum
AMaT is intuitive and perfectly aligned with our processes. Our clinical colleagues are queuing up to use it.
Clinical Teams and AMaT
AMaT allows clinical teams to register audits and improvement projects, associate related guidance, complete audits online, manage action plans and scheduling.
A timely and efficient solution - and one that means more time spent at patient bedsides.
The key benefits of AMaT for Clinical Teams are:
- Simple management of all projects from national audits to junior doctor improvement projects
- Visibility of non compliance and areas of focus for future improvement projects
- Easy management of reaudits
- Step-by-step guidance through the audit; all action plans and scheduling are managed
- PDF certificates and reports
Ward and Area Teams
Ward, area and team based audits are a daily part of clinical areas. But given the amount of time, labour, and paperwork involved, they can be challenging to implement effectively, and documentation can be easily duplicated or omitted.
The AMaT system allows for a structured approach to ward-based audits, promoting a paper-free auditing environment for audits from 'infection control' to 'essentials of care', increasing accuracy and improving the reporting of compliance with standards. Because it is web-based, AMaT centralises your data, generates notifications and reminders, and gives you real-time visibility into performance against benchmarks.
The key benefits of AMaT for Ward Teams are:
- Simple creation of daily, monthly, quarterly and annual audits from hand hygiene, controlled drug to CQC style inspections
- Easy audit completion using smartphones or tablets: no more legibility issues, lost paperwork or rekeying data
- Add action plans, receive prompts and upload evidence of completion
- Dashboards clearly show audit activity, actions and progress with results displayed by organisation, clinical team, ward or area and question level.
AMaT ensures that all NICE guidance is updated and available for teams and individuals to access. Guidance can be associated with audits and projects, and AMaT manages statements of compliance and related action plans.
AMaT also allows users to add local and national guidelines, policies and many other types of guidance, providing a library to link to audit projects and monitor any gaps in auditing.
The key benefits of AMaT for Guidance are:
- Identify gaps in audit activity against guidance
- Easily manage statements of compliance, risks and actions plans
- Dashboards display progress and compliance status
- Allows teams to manage their guidance and evidence compliance
AMaT enables organisations to manage all recommendations, information requests, actions and evidence before, during and following an inspection.
AMaT intrinsically provides the following benefits for inspections:
- Instant overview of the progress of all recommendations and actions
- Approval process for actions and evidence of completion
- Linking themes and regulations to recommendations
- Timely notifications and overdue alerts to ensure evidence and actions are completed
What is AMaT ?
AMaT is an innovative system designed to make auditing easier, faster, and more effective.
Auditing is a vital part of healthcare, helping to improve patient care, manage risk, and comply with reporting requirements. But it is also time-consuming, labour-intensive, and often slow to deliver results and actions.
AMaT was created with NHS clinical audit teams to give you more control over your audit activity and to provide real-time insight and reporting for clinicians, wards, audit departments and healthcare trusts.
AMaT is easy to implement, and simple to use. Data can be input and accessed in real time on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, giving healthcare staff increased flexibility and mobility - and more time to spend with patients.
Because AMaT is a web-based system, you can securely share information with others instantly. What's more, it's customisable to meet the specific needs of your department or organisation.
See audit results instantly
AMaT is designed around a dashboard system, which means the results of your audit and improvement data can be seen at a glance in easy-to-read graphical presentations.
Whether you need to share audit results trust-wide, or tailor them for specific specialities and divisions, AMaT will help you increase awareness and education throughout your organisation.
The dashboards provide clear visuals for your audit data, giving you real-time insight into how well you're performing, and providing the ability to react swiftly to implement change and improvements where necessary.
AMaT is intuitive and simple to use, but the technology behind it is powerful, enabling you to easily create and track hundreds of audits.
It works seamlessly with all elements of your audit process: upload files from other sources; create pro formas and questionnaires; send instant email notifications to co-workers for their input; submit reports to managers, and generate completion certificates - from your desktop or mobile device.
AMaT and Meantime IT
AMaT is developed and managed by Meantime IT - ISO 27001 certified for information security.
Meantime IT continue to work with NHS clinical audit teams using AMaT, to deliver effective and meaningful quarterly updates to the system. Continuously developing the system to ensure the reporting needs of organisations are met.
AMaT is available on the Crown Commercial Services G-Cloud 11 Framework
AMaT case studies
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals puts quality into action with new digital platform
Clinical and nursing staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are embracing digitally-enabled quality and service improvement through a new clinical audit platform from Meantime IT.
One of the greatest opportunities for increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the NHS is the reduction of unwarranted variation in care. Clinical audit can be an essential tool to help realise those opportunities.
As NHS England notes, clinical audit is a way to find out if healthcare is being provided in line with standards and lets care providers and patients know where their service is doing well, and where there could be improvements.
Quality is at its heart, and it is no surprise the Care Quality Commission takes a keen interest in the status of clinical audit as part of its hospital inspection regime.
However, clinical audit can be seen as a laborious process for hospitals, with multiple forms to complete for clinicians, junior doctors, nurses and ward staff. Facilitators need to be aware of hundreds of audits, past and present, if they are to use clinical audit effectively. The quality and service improvements recommended in audit action reports can slip down the priority list, in the face of competing demands on time and energy.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is delivering a step change in how it is embedding the use of clinical audit as part of its service and quality improvement commitments through the use of AMaT. The Audit Management and Tracking tool from Meantime IT is designed to streamline auditing requirements in one simple, easy-to-use system.
"AMaT has reduced the time taken to carry out an audit, and increased visibility of the process," said Alison Leather, clinical audit & effectiveness manager. This is helping to make sure that quality improvement actions are more embedded in the culture and activity of the trust.
By providing an interactive and intuitive online tool for trust staff to register, manage and report on clinical audit, AMaT is giving doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals at the trust more time to care, and creating action plans that deliver meaningful improvements on the NHS frontline.
Duplication and paper-based processes cut as audit becomes more effective
AMaT allows clinical teams to register audits, associate guidance such as NICE quality standards, complete audits online, and manage action plans and scheduling. This timely and efficient solution means that healthcare professionals have more time to spend at patient bedsides.
Junior doctors, for example, are expected to carry out clinical audit and quality improvement projects as part of their training. Previously, they might not have known what audits have already been undertaken, leading to duplicate projects that did not address the needs of the trust.
"We could have junior doctors doing duplicate audits," said Alison. "Now with increased visibility of AMaT, junior doctors can see what audits have been done." This means that those embarking on an audit project can focus on areas with real impact, for example by carrying out re-audits of previous quality recommendations, or work with colleagues to focus on areas that have the most benefit.
"We now know what we are doing, so if we wanted to focus on a pathway such as COPD, you can use an audit to get real insight into what is happening in that area."
AMaT is also providing greater visibility of the progress of quality improvements. "We can say instantly, because they are updating their audits, how many have led to an improvement or achieved their criteria. We just wouldn't have known this before," said Suzanne Henderson, project manager & AMaT system manager.
Clinical audit staff also save time through a more efficient process. Previously, they would have to undertake a paper-based process and transfer information into multiple systems, leaving little time to progress actions that had come out of previous audits.
The department has saved over £40k by not replacing retiring staff, after taking on AMaT. The department has also increased the number of projects that they facilitate and support, due to the time released by using AMaT.
"Now we don't have any pieces of paper coming into the office," said Alison. After about 12 months of use, the process now is entirely online.
With AMaT, a series of online forms make the creation and validation of clinical audits simple and quick. More time can be spent examining the actions that have been recommended, supported by automated reminders to those responsible for implementing improvement actions. This is helping to increase the number of audits being carried out at the trust.
"We had around 250 audits every year using our old system," said Alison. "There were 467 audit and quality improvement projects registered last year."
Impact of clinical audit and quality improvement felt across the trust
Governance teams are also seeing the benefits of AMaT. They have increased visibility of audit progress, resulting in a greater focus on implementing change in NHS priority areas such as hand hygiene compliance. They can now actively consider where an audit is required, such as in support of seven-day services, rather than reacting to the audits suggested across the trust.
Clinical teams can see everything, governance teams can see everything. It is much more open," said Suzanne.
AMaT also features Ward and Area Audit support, which enables wards to actively complete and action their audits. By increasing the visibility of ward-based audits from other teams such as Pharmacy and Outreach, AMaT has extended the number of people who can give feedback on activity. This has provided a holistic view of safe care being delivered to the patients, and enabled more immediate and responsive service improvement. Previously, such feedback and results would have taken some time to filter back to the wards and their Matrons.
The visibility of the regular clinical audits taking place on each ward or area also enables the clinical teams to work closely together, and has encouraged nursing staff to embark on their own audit-related projects.
AMaT is also helping staff with the many national clinical audits they have to carry out. Such audits can be seen as time-consuming and struggle to effect positive change, especially if such changes are not clinical in nature. Now, with more visible action plans, and clear status indicators, everyone can see what needs to happen to act on the recommendations.
For example, the national stroke audit (SSNAP) sets out clear areas for development at the trust. The Stroke business manager can access the audit to drive forward both clinical and operational improvements that came out of the audit, allowing healthcare staff to focus on making the changes they can deliver. The manager can then look at wider operational issues to enhance performance.
As a result, specialities such as cardiology can see instantly the progress on their national audits but also the regular, traditionally nursing-related assurance audits at ward level.
The system is also helping with Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection process. This data-hungry exercise looks to ensure that high standards of care are being maintained. The ready availability of clinical audit progress saves staff the many hours it can take to provide an accurate picture of audit activity and equipment. The trust is even using AMaT to run its own CQC-style exercises to ensure that it meets national quality standards.
Developed to meet the needs of clinical audit teams
AMaT went live in the autumn of 2016, following a trust review of the clinical audit tools available on the market. Trust quality leads wanted to work with an IT supplier to develop a solution that supported its desire to use clinical audit to drive organisation-wide quality improvement.
The result was AMaT, which has been developed to meet the trust's clinical audit needs, and which can be used by others who recognise that proper use of this process through an easy-to-use tool can drive a culture of quality improvement.
We looked at different systems on the market," said Alison. There was nothing that did everything that we wanted it to do, for example ward audits and NICE compliance statements. We thought, there must be something better out there. We worked with Meantime and they have developed a solution that best meets our needs."
Now, over 2,700 staff at the trust have access to AMaT, out of the 7,000 employed. Alongside increasing the transparency and visibility of activity, it is making audit simple by guiding staff through the audit process.
"You don't have to be an expert to use AMaT," said Suzanne. "It can be checked by everyone with access."
User-driven technology that can support integrated care
Such global access is leading to many fresh ideas for development. These include the use of AMaT to review the trust's mortality and morbidity performance, and further work around developing it around specific clinical specialities. AMaT is also being explored to support cross-trust audits, so that standards of care can be monitored across the multiple care settings central to the NHS's drive for more integrated care.
For others considering how they might use technology to support clinical audit and quality improvement, Alison - drawing on 25 years in the field - suggests that clinical audit teams look at what will best meet their needs. "Have a look round, and see what you need. Speak to people using the system on a daily basis," she said. "I would wholly recommend AMaT, if they wanted to come and speak to me. Come and see how it works in real life."
With quality at the heart of the future NHS, and with frontline staff keen to drive forward that agenda, AMaT shows that it is an essential improvement tool that can be embraced by all.
- Increase the visibility of quality improvement actions for all staff
- Improve the quantity and quality of audits
- Deliver action plans that have greater chance of being implemented by the right people
- Save time through more efficient audit processes and less admin
- Reduce paper by putting everything online
- Support clinical and governance teams action audit recommendations
- Manage and implement NICE and Royal College guidance statements
- Enable the trust to focus audits and quality improvement activities in areas of most impact, such as on specific pathways
- Encourage staff to work with colleagues to drive quality
- Embed a culture of continuous improvement
- Enable the trust to prepare for CQC inspections
- Trusts to use audit to deliver quality across multiple sites, so enabling the delivery of high quality integrated care.
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust drives its quality aspirations with AMaT
Organisation-wide quality improvement, service evaluation and audit activities are being supported by Meantime's ﬂexible and intuitive Audit Management and Tracking tool, says Deborah Kershaw, the trust's head of outcomes and assurance.
At Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, AMAT is becoming a single reference point for quality improvement, enabling nursing and clinical staﬀ to more easily engage in such activity across multiple areas of care.
"With AMaT, we have a system to capture what activity is taking place, one that gives people ownership and puts names against actions, and one that provides visibility of how projects are progressing and who has completed what, "says Deborah.
This visibility and action-led approach means that AMaT is supporting clinical audit, quality improvement, service evaluation, NICE compliance and even CQUIN recording at the trust. Meantime IT’s simple and ﬂexible technology is becoming the cornerstone of quality improvement; so much so that it will be the agreed repository for capturing quality improvement projects agreed as part of the new quality faculty being developed at Stockport.
The system to underpin trust-wide quality improvement
AMaT's breadth of use was not as ﬁrst planned. In development at the trust since late 2017, the system was originally intended to replace a legacy audit tool that was not keeping pace with trust needs. The clinical audit team, who saw that it could coordinate clinical audit across the trust and reduce reliance on manual processes and email, had planned a staged implementation.
That changed with the arrival of new chief nurse Alison Lynch in 2017. Her immediate ambition was to engage staﬀ in the delivery of high-quality patient care. One early initiative was to get the Accreditation for Continuous Excellence (ACE) ward accreditation scheme up and running.
The matron-led ACE programme sees wards undergo rigorous evaluation covering 20 diﬀerent topics. Wards are then awarded a performance rating and are then invited to identify the actions they need to take to improve the quality of care.
Technology to support ACE was already under consideration. Deborah could see how AMaT could help fulﬁl the ambitions of the chief nurse and save the trust a ﬁve-ﬁgure sum. The decision was made to use the technology for the ACE programme, and AMaT had arrived.
"Everyone got to know about the system quite quickly," says Deborah "Even if people weren’t using it, most people had heard of it. Now it is in use across the trust."
ACE is now an ongoing programme of quality improvement at the trust, which is already having a positive impact.
"It helps raise pride in the ward, and in its achievements," says Deborah. Staﬀ are sharing their ACE success stories on Twitter, showing how they are visibly and measurably improving the quality of care they provide.
Ward audit transformed with the support of AMaT
AMAT is also being used to support a more rigorous approach to the monthly ward-based quality assessments that were in place.
"Before we got involved in the ward audit, they had quality checks, but they were not registered as audits. There was not a lot of robustness in the system they were using. They were all scoring 100%. It was not an independent review, and the questions were not worded correctly to measure the quality, i.e. is the form in place, rather than is the form completed fully and correctly."
With AMaT, ward audits can be better managed, monitored and scheduled. Teams are guided through the process of checking across 12 key areas such as hand hygiene, medication, falls assessment, and pain management.
Nursing teams can see in real-time how compliant they are with quality standards as soon as they enter the data. They can then use the intuitive AMaT interface to record the actions they intend to take and assign ownership and due dates against those tasks. Dashboards can be printed out and displayed outside each ward, indicating positive achievements and areas for improvement.
By making the audit process easier to perform for nursing teams, AMaT has helped to increase the quantity and quality of ward audits.
AMaT helping with NICE and CQC compliance
Compliance with national clinical standards is also being made more straightforward with AMaT, as the system makes the latest NICE guidance available for its customers.
"We use AMaT to send NICE guidance out to the relevant owner for review and to check compliance. They then send a report to the quality governance group, saying where we are at, and what actions need to be done."
The trust is also using AMaT to address issues raised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). In addition to supporting regular spot checks, AMaT is to be the central repository for the trust's safe high-quality care improvement plan, Stockport's response to a recent CQC report.
"Working with the deputy director of quality governance, who is monitoring the plan, our staﬀ will ﬁnd it easier to update the work they have been doing directly into the action plan," says Deborah. "We can see on the dashboard the percentage of actions completed. Then we can produce a report for the senior managers demonstrating the activity that has taken place to address the CQC recommendations."
Having all such activity in one place, and making it visible to all staﬀ, means that Stockport has a much better idea of what quality improvement activities are taking place. "Just by knowing what’s out there has really improved things," says Deborah.
"It is a lot easier to monitor activity, you don’t have to go in and out of Word documents. It would take a lot of time to follow up an action plan. You were reliant on people sending updates and information through. Now, as it is on the system, we can see where people have not updated actions, and you can see who to chase."
Multiple beneﬁts for audit and quality improvement
As well as saving money and supporting key organisational priorities, AMaT is saving time for staﬀ.
"One of the nurses, for example, was having to type up CQC spot checks on paper, at night and over the weekend. Now this is done in AMaT, the data and reports are all there. It has saved her a huge amount of time. She is now a ﬁrm believer in AMaT as well."
Further beneﬁts include the ability for trust staﬀ to register direct on to the system; now, there are over 1,000 registered users. The system is cloud-based, so that access to documents does not depend on individual permissions - a real bugbear of previous approaches.
Auditors can register audits on the system, and update as actions progress knowing that their activities are being recognised. Action plans no longer sit in people’s email accounts; overdue actions can be highlighted and are reported to business group quality boards.
The system is providing a central focus for the trust’s quality ambitions. Audit and improvement activities are much more visible across the trust. The audit team can capture improvements over time and use ﬁlters to identify activities using terms, such as sepsis - a feature that can help deal with FOI and CQC requests.
"AMaT is a great place to know where to go to ﬁnd out about quality activity across the trust. It is almost a programme management tool, it brings everything together to support multiple functions."
Throughout this, tech support from Meantime has been responsive and helpful, and the trust can feed its own development suggestions to the supplier.
Challenges and opportunities for the future
Unsurprisingly, AMaT’s role in supporting quality at the trust is expanding. It is to act as the central repository for a new quality faculty being set up to drive quality improvement projects, so that teams across the trust can work together to improve care, deliver eﬃciencies and potential savings. Also, to provide visibility and transparency of activity taking place.
The technology has enabled a small team to support an impressive amount of quality improvement work at the trust, although this has not been without its challenges.
"We are victims of our own success. I championed the use of AMaT for multiple areas, and then everything came our way. If anyone else was to come on board, I would suggest don’t try to do it all at once, do it one bit at a time. It is not a fault of the system, it was down to the scale of what we were trying to do."
Deborah sees that AMaT has made a huge impact, and its future potential is impressive. Already in use for infection prevention, the system is already loaded with CQC Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs). Shortly it will be used to capture evidence and compliance levels, support information governance audits and act as a quick reference point for evidence required for some FOI requests.
Ultimately, AMaT could even support a consistent approach to audit and quality improvement across the whole health economy.
The potential for AMaT is clear - but only because it provides quality-driven staﬀ with the right tools to ﬁnish the job. It provides the technology and support that nursing and clinical staﬀ need to measure current practice and to capture and monitor actions to support them to transform how they deliver care.
- Underpin quality improvement programmes from ward to board
- Prepare for and respond to Care Quality Commission inspection
- Provide a searchable, holistic view of organisation’s quality activity
- Measure quality progress over time
- Ensure actions are recorded and monitors progress
- Ensure tasks are completed by using system driven prompts and emails to remind users
- Empower staﬀ to be a driving force in quality improvement
- Improve compliance with NICE standards
- Support national and local audits, service evaluations, and CQUIN compliance
- Provide simple access to supporting documentation
- Reduce reliance on paper chasing for audit progress
- Reduce issues arising from version control of emailed word documents
- Save money by providing a ﬂexible platform for improvement activity
- Save time by providing activity reports across multiple departments
Get in touch
Would you like to arrange a FREE demonstration of AMaT? Receive a brochure? Talk to other Trusts using AMaT? Or simply have a chat?Get in touch