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August 03, 2017

The 3 Most Common Pitfalls to Nurse Leader Rounding

Hospital systems are focusing now more than ever on improving the experiences of patients and their families, as their “inpatient” providers are held accountable to value based service models.

Specifically, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) are designed to provide a standard data collection methodology for gauging patient perspective of their care and comparing them to industry standards.

Performing Leader Rounding has proven to be a successful approach to connecting to these patients and assessing and improving their patient experience. However, many hospitals are not achieving the results they are expecting.




These hospital systems that are still struggling with their patient satisfaction scores or certain components of them are most likely falling under the same pitfalls that others report to be following.  Here are the three most common issues associated with Nurse Leader Rounding.

1. Asking Patients Direct Questions from the HCAHPS Survey

Rambling off questions in a systematic order may lead to survey fatigue, which happens when a person becomes increasingly overwhelmed with the questions being asked. Nothing ruins a patients’ experience faster than a nurse leader who is reading a list of questions to a patient in a robotic fashion.

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 While it may seem like an easy solution to ask patients questions on the spot, Nurse Leaders should initiate a discussion with their patient and let them speak about their experience without making it feel like a standardized process.  Patients want a real connection and feel they are being heard. If they want to elaborate on a particular concern, they should be able to speak freely without fear of going off topic. 

Becker’s Hospital Review says “the right rounding solution should give a voice to the patient—and their families—about their experience, preferences, and concerns.” In order words, your technology should provide support to an existing conversation with the patient. This includes making eye contact and giving the patient the attention they deserve.

2. Lack of Accountability Model

Evidence for success on leader rounds suggests that they are only as successful as the amount of patients that receive purposeful rounds.  This means that not only do they have to be done with focus and intent but you must round on the entire population.

There is a direct correlation between those you touch and the upward trend of the HCAHPS scores. Many hospitals make the mistake of thinking that asking to perform the rounds is enough.

In truth, patient census numbers must be an integral component to the list of patients to round on. Rounding technologies that give you an accurate percentage of rounds completed—as opposed to incomplete rounds—are part of the key to seeing an upward trend.

3. Failure to Follow-Up

There are certain patient issues that can be dealt with immediately. Actionable items like communication concerns, noise complaints or pain management not being addressed should be properly escalated and routed to the appropriate person.

While you may not have a solution right away, it’s imperative to let the patient know you’re taking care of it. Be mindful not to lose sight of items that can lead to significant improvements in the quality of care and patient satisfaction.

Patient Rounding technology can give you and your staff ease of mind when dealing with high volume. By using technology to automate the patient experience rounding schedule, reporting, escalations and follow-ups, you’re gaining complete transparency and the ability to eliminate the risk of missed opportunities to be responsive to the patient.





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Lauren Walling

Lauren Walling is a graduate of Emory University with a degree in Industrial Psychology, as well as an MBA from the John Sykes School of Business from The University of Tampa. She currently sits on the Board of Fellows at the University of Tampa, and is a member of the Healthcare Business Women's Association, National Association of Professional Women, and the Morton Plant Skip Cline Society. Lauren works with large Healthcare Systems implementing Patient Experience Solutions that streamline processes, increase patient experience and improve quality and safety.

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