Common Challenges to Purposeful Leader Rounding

Six steps – sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, while this model assists during the actual rounding process, there are many challenges before the process even begins. First, leaders will not prioritize rounding if they fail to see the value that it brings to hospital performance. It is important that clinically validated findings, such as those of Johns Hopkins, are voiced throughout the hospital to demonstrate the link between leader rounding and high-quality patient care.

Perhaps the most obvious constraint to purposeful leader rounding is time. With the countless tasks that hospital leaders manage behind the scenes to improve care services, it can be challenging to find the time for frontline activities. For this reason, patient care must be thoughtful and effective without being overly time-consuming. Our suggestion, and a growing trend in the healthcare industry, is to replace traditional pen-and-paper documentation with a digital rounding tool to streamline the process.

Enhancing Leader Rounds with a Digital Tool

Hospital leaders nationwide are turning to Orchid, CipherHealth’s digital rounding solution, to efficiently collect and analyze information and maximize valuable staff time. Orchid offers customizable rounding scripts, aggregates and analyzes the information that is collected, and immediately alerts appropriate departments if an issue is identified. Orchid, which incorporates the RELATE model, fosters personal and compassionate communication, preventing the checklist mentality that technology can promote. Ultimately, this results in collecting actionable information to drive positive, long-term change.

Using Orchid for leader rounding is proven to simplify the user experience and increase patient satisfaction. A 359-bed urban hospital was seeking a solution that would bring consistency to leader rounds, but would also accommodate leaders’ busy schedules. The Orchid process seamlessly integrated into the hospital’s workflow, and allowed leaders to efficiently collect information from more patients, more frequently. After five months, patients that received Orchid leader rounds reported 4% higher satisfaction with the hospital stay than those without a leader round. This increase not only improved patient perceptions, but allows for return on investment by improving value-based purchasing metrics. 

By using technology to coordinate care and minimize documentation, executives can collect information that validates the time and resources being invested for rounding. Communicating the purpose, goals, and results of rounding keeps staff members informed and engaged throughout the process. Additionally, it shows staff that their voices are being heard, their feedback is valued, and that clinical excellence is a shared mission across the entire organization.   

Having personal interactions between patients or staff and upper level management is an effective way to align the hospital’s goals with actual daily practice. During rounds, leaders can gather feedback in a reliable, direct way to improve their care services and avoid negative events. Incorporating the RELATE model and utilizing evidence-based solutions such as Orchid ensures that leaders are not simply complying with the rounding protocol, but are performing rounds with a purpose: to cultivate an organization-wide commitment to excellent patient care.  

This article is an excerpt from the 3Q 2016 PX Advisor.

April 1, 2021