Nurse Rounding Technology Can Improve Patient Safety — and Satisfaction

One simple intervention can dramatically increase patient safety and satisfaction. Purposeful hourly rounding by nursing staff – essentially, having a nurse or certified nursing assistant (CNA) check on and attend to patient needs every hour or two – has been shown to decrease falls, improve pain management, and increase patient satisfaction. Regular rounding helps staff work efficiently as well.

Nurse Rounding Supports Patient Care

It’s hard enough for nurses to meet patients’ regularly scheduled needs. Passing medications, getting patients ready for medical tests or procedures, meeting patients’ nutritional needs — these tasks occur at pre-determined times. In between, nurses do their best to meet patient needs as they arise. 

Prioritizing ever-shifting clinical needs is a challenge for even the most experienced nurses. A 2006 study found that hourly nurse rounding can save staff time and deliver better patient outcomes. Researchers examined the impact of purposeful hourly rounding across 27 nursing units in 14 hospitals and found that rounding every hour (during the day) or two hours (at night):

  • Decreased patient calls for assistance by 40%
  • Decreased patient requests for repositioning by 29%
  • Decreased calls due to IV or pump alarms by 40%
  • Decreased patient calls for pain management by 40%

According to a 2016 article published in JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) endorsed hourly rounding as the best way to reduce call lights and fall injuries, and increase both quality of care and patient satisfaction. The authors note that purposeful hourly rounding decreased patient falls by 50%.

During routine rounds, nursing staff address what some call the 6 Ps: pain, potty, possessions, peaceful environment, and pick up. Staff ask about patients’ pain and utilize pain management strategies, including medication administration, if appropriate. Staff address toileting needs, assisting patients to use the restroom, bedpan, or urinal if needed. Nursing staff also make sure patient possessions (as well as the TV remote, call light, and bed controls) are within reach and that all equipment is functioning effectively. If needed, they hang new IV fluids and remove any unnecessary items in the area.

Why Hospitals Need Automated Nurse Rounding

Increasingly, healthcare payers are linking reimbursement to patient outcomes and satisfaction. Automated Nurse Rounding can help hospitals effectively implement a strategy that’s been shown to boost both outcomes and patient satisfaction. 

Nurses know what good care looks like; they don’t need technology (or healthcare administrators) to tell them how to take care of patients. They do, however, need strategies and technology that help them deliver care efficiently.

RTLS Nurse Rounding can help staff develop (and sustain) a regular rounding habit. Electronic systems that can automatically register and record staff presence in a room can reveal current practices and reinforce a shift toward hourly (or every-other-hourly) rounding. Clinical leaders can use data generated by software such as Nursing Insights to help team members address barriers to clinical rounding and support individual nurses as needed. Insights generated by nurse rounding technology may also help clinical leaders detect unusual patterns of activity and adjust staffing levels to effectively meet patient and staff needs.

Benefits of Nurse Rounding Technology

Nearly 60% of healthcare facilities that implemented patient rounding technology experienced improved patient satisfaction scores, according to a report by KLAS Research. Of the organizations surveyed, 37% said they benefited from the technology’s immediate feedback, accountability, and compliance tracking functions. Hospitals that used automated nurse rounding also reported better collaboration and increased staff motivation. 

Clinical staff also said that the digital rounding tools helped them adjust practices. When data showed rounding wasn’t happening as often as staff assumed, they increased the frequency of patient check-ins. Some clinicians also said that the technology helped them address patient problems.

One hospital found that implementation of nurse rounding technology improved nurse/patient communication, particularly from the patient perspective. Patients reported increased ease of communication with nursing staff; they also felt “nurses listened carefully” and thoroughly reviewed discharge instructions before patients were released from the hospital. 

The right nurse rounding technology can help staff proactively meet patient needs. Request a demo to see how Nursing Insights can increase patient safety and satisfaction in your facility.