Standards for Clinical Excellence:
Implementing Peer Review of Practice
Rosina Ashdown-Lambert, PhD, RN, RHV
Project Manager, Senior Health Researcher
Centre for Health Policy and Practice, University of Stafford
Highlighted in recent literature
is concern pertaining to widely differing standards
in nursing practice (DoH 2001). In addition, improvement
of practice standards to ensure protection of the public
is emphasised (UKCC 2000)..
To determine what
constitutes excellence in clinical practice the investigators utilised expertise
of community nurse teachers (n=12 of 14) practising in Shropshire
County, UK. Following a substantive literature review to
identify competencies for benchmarking, use of focus groups
identified a benchmarking continuum model and benchmarks
for record keeping, 'the helping, caring' role and nurse
'role as educator.'
Benchmarks were tested
using a 'quality circles' approach to peer review of practice.
Use of reflective diaries and professional portfolios were
also an integral part of this project.
was determined following evaluation of peer review outcomes on
the benchmarking continuum model
also investigated interrater reliability and validity
of benchmarks. Peer reviewees (n=7), [65% of sample) identified
learning needs and peer reviewers (n=5), [45% of the sample]
identified learning needs whilst in that role.
clinical benchmarking and peer review of practice, as
part of the clinical governance framework within trusts,
to run in tandem with clinical supervision, thereby enabling
monitoring of practice standards to occur.
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