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What is Hourly Rounding? A Healthcare Best Practice

Hourly Rounding is oftentimes seen as a magic bullet for improving the patient experience, supporting quality outcomes, and increasing staff engagement. Yet, despite significant efforts being made in terms of staff time, training, and re-training, most organizations are failing to see improved outcomes, and therefore are experiencing significant frustration due to the perception that their efforts are not producing results.

Our goal is to share how to successfully execute hourly rounding, making it a productive tool for healthcare and patient experience improvement, and give leaders the tools to sustain and create accountability for this best practice.

Why Hourly Rounding Is Valuable

Hourly Rounding is a structured means of promoting patient-centered communication between staff, patients, and their loved ones to ensure the best outcomes. It demonstrates a commitment between leaders and their staff to anticipate patient needs and make the unit a better environment. BLG has continuously perceived increases in staff engagement when employees have tools that make them better able to manage competing priorities and achieve time efficiencies. Beyond all other considerations, hourly rounding is also a rewarding way for staff members to feel connected to their patients.

Hourly Rounding Defined

Hourly Rounding requires staff to visit with patients and/or their families each hour, structuring the interaction for maximum benefit by following specific patient centered behaviors and communication. The clinical staff is also responsible for documenting information shared with patients and any actions on an hourly rounding log and patient white boards.

This is a process that requires staff to Narrate their Care, have all hands on deck (e.g., it cannot just be owned by nursing) and ensures we have a non-negotiable commitment to rounding every hour, on every patient, every time. Leaders must role model the commitment to hourly rounding and validate this practice with staff in order to emphasize its importance and institutionalize its continuation.

About BLG, a HealthStream Company

BLG provides Patient-Centered Excellence Consulting, where the patient is at the center of everything we do. Our tools, tactics, and best practices are evidence-based and outcomes driven.  We provide custom, individualized coaching that produces measurable, sustainable increases in patient satisfaction, employee engagement, quality outcomes, and profitability.

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