Leaders bring credibility to the practice of hospital rounding

While weekly safety rounds demonstrate an organization’s commitment to safety, leadership walk rounds are an opportunity to further reinforce that promise by bringing managers and leaders out of their offices and onto the hospital floor, says Mark Hudson, Strategic Accounts Manager at Sentact.

When used together, these two rounding practices help to create a safer environment for everyone.

“Our customers have found that if the individuals at the top level are also performing rounds, not only will it provide buy-in so your nurse managers continue to do those weekly safety rounds, but your patients get to see the administration of the hospital and see that they care and that they are listening,” Hudson says. “These interactions can only help in the effort to continuously improve patient care at every level of the organization.”

Smart Business spoke with Hudson about how to work with your team to help them understand the value of these rounding practices.

How do you get everyone to understand the importance of being safe in their work?
Getting buy-in is always an issue. Communication is the best method to get everyone to understand the importance of being safe in their work. By reviewing the data that is collected during the rounding process, you can identify issues and deficiencies that need to be corrected.

By communicating these issues and developing a corrective plan, individuals can see how they impact the safety of an organization. Once you see results from a corrective plan, it’s critical that they be shared with your team so that they can see and participate in the process improvement taking place.

There are also other forms of positive reinforcement such as publishing patient feedback and communicating an increase in Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores.

How do you create a system to ensure that the safe culture continues beyond the initial conversation?

  • Improve communication among and from hospital leaders — Using the data collected from a rounding solution for patient safety and quality, leaders can easily determine areas that need correction or improvement, communicate these quality measures to the team and provide the resources and training necessary to promote learning and continuous improvement.
  • Create transparency — Using a structured rounding routine, caregivers can contribute to efficiency, safety and teamwork, as well as address patient satisfaction. With purposeful rounding, an environment of transparency is created and health care organizations will see a reduction in patient anxiety, patient falls and readmission rates. A transparent environment creates a culture of trust between the patient and caregiver and it all begins with rounding.
  • Create continuous improvement — Inevitably, issues or deficiencies are discovered during the rounding process. A robust rounding tool will allow an organization to not only correct the issues as they occur, but also help an organization track data so that processes for continuous improvement can be created. Taking a proactive approach reduces the likelihood of experiencing adverse events.
  • Create actionable data — Manual rounding processes do not provide a health care organization with the proper data to make decisions. Scrolling through paper can take hours of time, which could be better spent directly interacting with patients. With an automated rounding solution, analytics and reports can help an organization make management decisions in real-time.
  • Create a culture of safety — All health care organizations are working towards a culture of safety, but some may struggle with exactly how to reach their goals. Rounding can assist these organizations by being a valuable tool in this process. By reporting and learning from patient and quality rounds, health care leaders, managers and team members can create a true culture of safety.

Insights Health Care Technology is brought to you by Sentact.