Medical audit has been defined as "a systematic critical analysis of the quality of medical care, including the procedures used for diagnosis and treatment, the use of resources, and the resulting outcome for the patient". In Britain, recent reforms of the Health Service increase the need for neurologists to undertake audit. The basic principles of audit in relation to the management of common conditions such as headache and epilepsy are described. Audit must consider not only efficiency but also effectiveness, but the difficulty of developing valid outcome measures should not be underestimated, especially in chronic disabling conditions.
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