A world-first cardiology clinical audit, which looked at the outcomes of minimally-invasive surgical procedures in dogs, has concluded that it is possible to performing a clinical audit across veterinary centres.
The study, set up by Paragon Veterinary Referrals’ head of cardiology, Chris Linney and colleagues, reviewed treatment for patent ductus arteriosus.
This is a treatable, curable condition that, if left unchecked, could cause up to 50 percent of dogs to die in their first year of life.
The audit was carried out in some of the busiest, most experienced veterinary centres in the UK, and systematically assessed patient outcomes to assess and benchmark them against previous industry standards.
He set up the study whilst working at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, and the other centres collaborating on the study were Anicura Oslo Animal Hospital, Heart Vets; Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, University Hospital of Companion Animals, Copenhagen and Veterinary Cardiology Consultancy.
Other clinicians taking part included Brigite Pedro, Mike Martin and João Neves, formerly of Willows, along with Jo Harris and Dave Dickson, of HeartVets, working with fellow Linnaeus practice Cave Veterinary Specialists.
The audit concluded that the process of performing a clinical audit in veterinary clinical interventions across different centres is achievable, and has since been published in The Journal of Veterinary Cardiology.
Chris said: “This published multicentre prospective clinical audit was a first of its kind in the cardiology world.
“This type of audit acts as a quality control to improve patient outcomes through systematic review of care, comparing to predefined criteria and then implementing change, and so the process repeats.
“Improving patient outcomes and benchmarking against existing standards is essential for elevating patient outcomes.
“In the centres in this study, we are already delivering excellent patient outcomes but with room for improvements, however small, this audit will help future patients but also colleagues across the cardiology world.”