Five Guidelines for Purposeful Rounding in Healthcare

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

This blog post continues our series of patient experience best practices from the HealthStream Engagement Institute. We regularly share information that demonstrates our understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and the solutions we have identified for improving the patient experience and patient and business outcomes.

Rounding is an organized process done with a purpose. There are a number of steps to help you prepare and make the most of the experience from day one. They include:

Set Your Schedule

Before arranging the rounding calendar, determine the best time of day for your targeted area(s). Senior leaders should find out from managers when the most feedback can be obtained on a routine basis. Department leaders should round based on a sampling of staff.

Think It Through

Senior leaders must decide what they want to accomplish as they round, and communicate the purpose to the leader/manager and staff of that area before starting out. This will set the stage for the appearance and quell any misgivings. Department leaders need to identify priorities based on patient satisfaction results.

Do Your Homework

Research the latest patient-satisfaction/HCAHPS survey scores, employee retention/ satisfaction data, budgetary compliance, and any special issues that have come to the forefront. This information will also not only prepare you to round effectively in your department or area of responsibility, but will also help you feel comfortable during the process. In addition, if you can start with a department or unit with which you have some familiarity, it will ease the launch into the process and foster an early “win/win” for both you and customers (be they patients, staff, or physicians).

Gather Your Supplies

Ensure you have business cards to hand to any patients, family members, and visitors you encounter. Have something available for note taking, and bring along a few items for on-the-spot employee reward and recognition gestures.

Expand Your Horizons

Remember, too, that rounding can take place outside a department or unit. For example, consider eating lunch in the cafeteria, being visible in a staff break room, and taking advantage of employee access during celebrations. When you are out of your usual rounding domains, be observant of employee interactions and behaviors. Recognize and reward staff whom you see demonstrating service excellence or going above and beyond for a customer.

Note: Finally, all leaders should be mindful of the workforce on nights and weekends. Your rounding is just as important to this population as it is for day-shift workers. Increase weekend visibility and build relationships with staff who work during that time period exclusively. Make it an expectation that the administrator on-call comes in during the weekend to round with employees for a couple of hours.

About the Best Practice Series

We are pleased to share the best practices developed by our expert coaches from the HealthStream Engagement Institute. This series of how-to publications offers proven techniques, key words and phrases, and processes to help you transform your culture to one of high performance.

Our Best Practices Series, based on employee-developed and employee-managed practices and programs, includes the following:

  • Hourly Rounding
  • Reward and Recognition
  • Peer Interviewing
  • Bright Ideas™
  • Purposeful Rounding
  • Words that WorkSM
  • Service Recovery
  • Standards of Performance

Our goal for this collection is to offer you even more tools to achieve extraordinary service and higher levels of performance excellence.

Learn more about the services offered by the HealthStream Engagement Institute.