DQI TOOLBOX 1·0 - The Multidisciplinary Audit Software

Successfully piloted in general health care settings throughout Britain, DQI TOOLBOX is the first audit package developed by multidisciplinary practitioners to provide a dynamic approach to quality improvement. DQI TOOLBOX provides a comprehensive and fully searchable database for the development of standards; facilities for printed output of each stage of the quality improvement cycle and a fast and easy-to-use framework for entering audit data and drawing research-based conclusions. DQI TOOLBOX includes all the software you need to create Standards and Audit Forms, to collect and analyse observational data, and to create Summaries and Action Plans, all on one database.

The audit cycle

Once an area for quality improvement has been identified, the next stage is to develop an audit tool to measure and compare practice with the agreed standard (see the DQI TOOLBOXaudit form below). This is drawn up, using the standard form from the first stage of the audit cycle. In developing the audit tool from the standard form, it is useful to consider four key questions: What, How, When and Who? In the second column of the audit form, specify what methods you will use to collect related data. When collecting audit data, you use the data record on DQI TOOLBOX. Responses are then entered for the audit criteria specified on the audit form, using the agreed methods of data collection within the defined target groups. If the auditor has access to a lap-top or notebook computer, this information may be fed directly into the system. Otherwise, the auditor may record data onto hard copies of the data record, and then input the responses at a later date.

Comparing the actual with the expected level of compliance allows the auditor to see at a glance areas where achievement of the standard is good, or areas where it is less than expected. This forms the basis for preparing the audit summary, the next stage in the audit process. Having compared the expected to actual compliance scores, the auditor uses the audit summary to record the key audit findings. Here, the auditor notes the particular issue or criterion studied, the findings of the audit in terms of the level of compliance, plus any comments which may help to explain the findings.

By now any key areas where the previously agreed level of compliance has not been reached have been identified. There are a number of key steps to take to complete the action plan, the final form in DQI TOOLBOX: agreeing appropriate courses of action in respect of the problems identified; agreeing a named person responsible for the action; deciding the timescale for action; re-audit and evaluation.
Reference Number:


Audit Objective:

Client-Provider Sample:

Sample Context:



Form Date:

    Fully annotated audit forms are essential if the audit cycle is
    to be effective. Clear parameters such as dates, samples and
    those conducting the audit may all be kept in one place,
    marking an easily-accessible but permanent record of the
    standards established and maintained - a critical element in
    quality improvement.
Audit Criteria
The focus for the audit,
e.g. patient, nurse,
environment, family, or
any client group
The various procedures
in conducting audit will
be entered here, e.g.
observe, ask
Each audit
function is
coded to
make cross-
reference so
much easier
Here, each question asked by the audit will be noted and
stored with the corresponding target, method and code,
providing clear evidence of the thoroughness of the current
audit and acting as a vital reference for future audits
conducted in this area. You will then have a library of
information to draw from in continuously improving the
quality of the service you provide.
Above is a sample Audit Form which can be output using DQI TOOLBOX. Output quality will depend on the type of printer selected, but you will find that DQI TOOLBOX is compatible with any printer currently available. This clearly demonstrates the flexibility of this software package as the cornerstone of the audit cycle.

Hardware recommendations

What will I get?

The DQI TOOLBOX Operating Manual will provide you with full support in loading the system. The software will run both on a network and on a single-user basis and can run concurrently with Windows if required. The network versions of DQI TOOLBOX will enable users from all departments within a hospital/unit setting to access information held on the central server. Should you require it, several layers of security may be built into the system, facilitating differentiated or limited/restricted access to appointed users. The DQI TOOLBOX Dongle, the capacity of which will be determined by the stated number of users is plugged into the parallel port of your computer. Without it, the software will run in Demonstration Mode only.

What if I need help?

The Manual, with Installation and Operating Instructions, is divided into two parts: Before you Begin and Using DQI TOOLBOX. There is a comprehensive Index, and Appendices cover some special topics. An Introduction briefly describes the features of DQI TOOLBOX and where to locate further information.

Accompanying this is the DQI TOOLBOX Tutorial which guides you through each of the stages involved in implementing the system: writing and implementing a standard, developing an audit tool, collecting audit data, collating audit data, summarising audit data and implementing action plans for quality improvement. There is also a section on how to sustain quality improvements, including a consideration of recommended organisational structures for quality. For those new to DySSSy, the tutorial provides details of further sources of information and training on the system.

At any time, you can activate the Help system and obtain information about the current activity, together with cross-indexed information about other related activities. The contents of Help are structured to enable the user to become rapidly 'self-sufficient' with DQI TOOLBOX. If you still have a question about the software, details of the DQI TOOLBOX Helpline can be found in the Manual.

For information about ordering your copy:

Download the Demo Version!

You can download and install the Demo Version of DQI TOOLBOX now. It is compressed into the self-extracting program file DQIZIP.EXE: After downloading the file, it can be decompressed by typing at the DOS prompt. Please note that the -d 'switch' is necessary so that the correct directory structure can be set up on your hard disk: this consists of an application directory \DQI containing the files DQI.EXE and DQI_N.WBF, together with a subdirectory \DQI\DATA containing a couple of demo. data files.

When the package has been decompressed, it can be run by typing

at the DOS prompt; the password is RCN. Built-in context-sensitive Help can be obtained by pressing the F1 key.

[Link here to 'Frequently-Asked Questions']

[Link here to news of DQI TOOLBOX Version 2 for Windows]

[End of document, updated to 6 February 1997]