When it comes to creating a more patient-centered culture, it’s important to stay in close touch with both the patients and the staff. By observing and giving regular feedback and support, a leader sends a strong message that service is a top priority and not just lip service. And the best way to be both visible and observant is through rounding.
Rounding is really nothing new you know. Florence Nightingale was known as “the lady with the lamp” because she was continually rounding on her patients day and night. Imagine what those conditions were like compared to today. She couldn’t pull her smartphone from her pocket and text an alert to housekeeping or dietary to address one of her patients’ needs. She didn’t have the medications or comfort measures we have today. But what she did have was a firm commitment to her patients and demonstrated it by being fully present.
Rounding is simple really. You put one foot in front of the other, walk out of your office and connect with key people; your staff and your customers. This is how you assess how well your team is delivering care and find out what patients are thinking. This is where you learn who on your staff is going above and beyond so you can thank them. This is how you demonstrate to your staff that their work is important enough for you to want to see.
Of course you want to round with purpose. You have specific things you want to learn and document, but sometimes I think that healthcare leaders over-engineer everything, including rounding. The real secret to success is to just do it. You’re just two feet away from a culture of accountability.