Primary Care Respiratory Group UK
Chest Infection Audit Introduction
Chest Infection Audit Specification
How to do the Audit
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This audit has been developed with advice from the PCRS-UK Education Committee and Executive ( It has been fully sponsored by the PCRS-UK.

It is the third in a series by Dr Mark L Levy (, produced as a service to colleagues and their patients who will benefit from participation in a medical audit.

The aim of this audit is to assess the management of patients diagnosed with chest infections. Participation in the audit will facilitate the evaluation of examination, diagnosis and treatment of patients presenting with respiratory symptoms. While the main focus of this audit is on patients with chest infections, some data is collected on some of the common differential diagnoses. The latter to determine the quality of care provided in patients with co-morbid conditions.

The audit system utilised enables registered participants to enter their findings through a secure, password protected, anonymous website at Participants are able to view their audit results (compared with others), online immediately after each new patient is entered into the secure site. When at least 10 patients have been entered, it will be possible to print a report for discussion with your colleagues, and final inclusion in a personal development plan, as evidence of completed audit, for appraisal purposes.

In a busy primary care practice, it is often difficult to make an accurate assessment and diagnosis. Patients presenting with respiratory symptoms are often prescribed unnecessary antibiotics; in addition many of these patients are treated without the benefit of a clinical examination, and on occasions without a firm diagnosis being made.

The majority of patients presenting with symptoms upper respiratory tract infections (which may be present in patients with chest infections), do not require antibiotic treatment. However, they should all be fully assessed; including a history, appropriate clinical examination, investigations as necessary. Once the diagnosis is established, advice should be provided for the patient (or their representative) on the natural history of the illness (so patients know whether to consult again) and and if indicated appropriate medication is prescribed.

Click here for information on how to participate.

Click here for the audit specification.

Who is this audit for?

General practitioners and practice nurses working in different settings and caring for patients diagnosed with chest infections.

Definition of Chest Infection for this audit:

Any patient managed in primary care (in the practice premises, in an urgent care centre, at home on a visit) who is diagnosed as suffering from a chest infection. The terms for this diagnosis may include: Chest infection, Community acquired pneumonia, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, bronchopneumonia, LRTI – Lower Respiratory Tract Infection, Flu or Flu like illness, or other terminology used by the clinician to denote a ‘chest infection’.)

This audit will provide clinicians with information regarding their management and prescribing patterns for patients diagnosed with chest infections, and will enable immediate online comparison with other clinicians. This will provide information for discussion and implementation of any changes in practice that might be needed.


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