The admission of a loved one into a critical care area can put a family into “crisis” mode, especially when a hospital stay is unexpected. Until the status of the patient is known, the priorities for the patient and family revolve around two areas – information and support. Family members at the bedside are often tasked to keep the extended family and friends informed about the situation or to field multiple calls from those with well-meaning intentions. This is not a time to ask the family how your team is doing.
No one wants to hear a diagnosis of “cancer” but with medical research and new treatment breakthroughs, more and more survivors are winning the battle for long and healthy lives. But until the prognosis and outcome are known, patients and families have many questions and need strong support from the healthcare community. Patient “transitions” are a key component of cancer care as patients are referred from their primary care provider and navigate through a team of specialists who assure that body systems are protected while aggressive treatments are aimed at the disease.
Nurse leader rounding on patients has a strong influence on issue identification and engagement of inpatients prior to discharge. At Nobl, we recognize the unit type differences that exist within acute care facilities, big and small. At a recent onsite visit with a large client, the quarterly data review revealed a “healthy rivalry” between the AVPs of the Medical-Surgical and Critical Care areas for top compliance with rounding goals by nurse managers. For the first time this year, the critical care area leaders were outperforming the medical surgical leaders.
Leader rounding allows staff to proactively connect with patients and families. It fosters unit communication and reinforces a commitment to family-centered care and excellence in patient experience. Along with identifying opportunities for improvement, leader rounding also provides a way to recognize individual staff members who receive positive patient feedback.
In 2017, Lea Albright, Hospitalist Program Manager, needed to impact physician communication and discharge instruction HCAHPS scores. With limited practice by private physicians, the activities of the hospitalists were driving the data. A lack of provider specific patient comments from HCAHPS scores limited buy-in by physician leaders to enforce needed behavior changes to improve communication.
If you have worked anywhere in a service industry, you are fully aware of the value of relationships. Whether you are serving retail customers, hotel guests or patients and families in the hospital they must trust that you know what you are talking about, listen to their needs/concerns, and work to meet those needs. Unfortunately, in the healthcare industry, the “customer isn’t always right.” Their wants may not align with their needs and we are constantly balancing service with safety, therefore the strength of the relationship may suffer.
I’m currently working on a literature review to compile evidence and best practices around nurse leader rounding on patients and employees. It is interesting that with everyone jumping on the rounding bandwagon, very few of these published articles in this area are research. Instead, the journals abound with rounding case reviews or process improvement projects all geared toward HCAHPS as an outcome or gold standard of excellence.
Leadership rounding with patients allows the nurse manager to directly impact patient experience and satisfaction. Nurse leaders are constantly balancing multiple tasks and priorities at any given moment. With a digital rounding tool, nurse leaders can effectively manage the patient experience, improve staff engagement, and communicate with other departments. We’ve composed 4 different strategies to make your rounds more effective.