Referrals to a specialist psychotherapy service were audited to measure the average waiting time for a first appointment and the proportion of patients waiting longer than 13 weeks. Recommendations for improving service delivery were made, an action plan implemented and the audit repeated.
In 2003, an initial audit of 355 referrals was completed using data from 2002. This found a mean waiting time to first appointment of 11.5 weeks with 30% of patients waiting longer than 13 weeks. In 2004, following implementation of the action plan, a re-audit of 200 patients found that the mean waiting time from receipt of referral to first appointment had reduced to 6.7 weeks with only 2.3% waiting more than 13 weeks.
Audit can improve the efficiency of service delivery in a specialist psychotherapy service. However, this may require that psychotherapists review traditional ways of working. Also, it is important that they feel personally involved in the audit process.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.