Six Ways Healthcare Leaders Can Be More Effective During Staff Rounding: eBook Excerpt

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

This blog post is taken from an article by Katie Weidman, Marketing Associate, CipherHealth, and Kathleen Lynam, Executive Coach, HealthStream Engagement Institute, in our new Healthcare Leadership Development eBook. Get full access to the entire eBook here.

Rounding with a Purpose

Leader rounds on staff should not be done merely as a way to follow protocol; they should be done with a purpose. Leaders should perform rounds to collect actionable information and to promote a “people-centered” culture across the organization. While several strategies can make rounds more purposeful, a key driver is effective communication.

  1. Reassure – Leaders must make a proactive effort to reduce fears by being present and empathetic during rounds. Specifically, they should make a personal connection with staff, introduce their titles, and share how long they’ve been with the organization. This can help ease any anxiety or fears among staff.

  2. Explain – Leaders should narrate the interaction, explaining what rounding is and why it occurs. Employees should understand that rounding is a way for leaders to evaluate their own performances and those of other employees to ultimately improve care delivery.

  3. Listen – Communication is a two-way street. Leaders should encourage staff to express concerns and ask questions, and be mindful of not judging anything that is said. Since many staff have fears that keep them from speaking up, reading body language and other nonverbal expressions is an essential part of “listening.”

  4. Answers – During rounds, leaders should validate any questions that are asked and clearly restate information. Through paraphrasing or teach-back activities, leaders can ensure that staff and care providers understand what is being explained or asked.

  5. Take Action – After gathering feedback during rounds, leaders should address any concerns that come up and start to build a well-informed action plan. The focus here should first be on managing staff expectations, and then taking proactive steps to exceed them.

  6. Express Appreciation – At the end of their interaction, it is important that leaders thank the employee, explain how they will be following up, and reiterate how nice it was to get to know them and understand their concerns.

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. 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 are voiced throughout the hospital to demonstrate the link between leader rounding and high-quality patient care.

The guidelines above represent RELATESM, our model for high-impact communication, which can form a useful foundation for healthcare leaders. While this model is commonly used to guide interactions between care providers and patients, it is just as important during interactions between hospital staff. When used during leader rounds, the RELATE model is a simple way to achieve actionable information.

Download the eBook containing the full article here.