On paper, an audit can be deceptively easy to plan and carry out. You need to decide on an important issue and investigate whether or not things are being carried out to the highest standard of practice. For example, a chest physician may want to see if her department is following the hospital’s local policy on carrying out a bronchoscopy on all patients with suspected lung cancer within 10 days. She may decide to do this by looking at all patient notes over a period of 3 months and working out how long it took for them to have the procedure and then reporting back to the department. But is this the best way of doing it?