Improving Patient Experiences with Intentional Patient Rounding

April 26, 2016 Oi Hua Lee


Walk into a hospital and it’s hard not to recognize the hustle. Everyone has a part to play and with it, about a hundred things to do in order to do it well. So understandably, the ‘human touch’ can get lost in the process of healing. This is one of the reasons why healthcare organizations are placing such an emphasis in patient experiences, as at its core it is about delivering care compassionately and in return is the opportunity to earn patient loyalty.

Beyond responding or reaching out to patients with complaints in a timely manner or ensuring the food is top notch; organizations are looking to more proactive solutions for increasing patient experiences with intentional rounding.

So, what the heck is intentional rounding?
Intentional rounding is a structured process where nurses carry out regular checks on patients at set intervals, at which time they perform required tasks with each person. In this approach consistency is the key; with frequency and attitude of staff alike.

Why bother?
Being in a hospital is tough for patients and their loved ones. During a stay, they often feel scared, have a ton of questions and above all they want to make sure they’re in good hands. When you strip intentional rounding down, you have an idea designed to ensure patients feel comfortable and to ease anxiety from beginning to end. This is achieved by quite simply being present. The simple knowledge of knowing you’ve been by and you’ll be back does a great deal to ease the anxiety they’re feeling.

There are also benefits for staff as well! First, if patients can presume that their caregivers will be returning they’re likely to be less demanding and have fewer ad hoc requests. These schedule tasks are a reliable way to not only help front-line teams organize their workloads but also, provides nurses with clear, measurable aims to focus on.

Intentional rounding is a flexible solution that can be adapted to organizations and staff of all sizes. But, no matter the benefits it can bring to the organization itself, what’s important to remember is that at its core, it’s about putting patients first and improving patient satisfaction.

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