Identifying Patient Needs - Genesis HealthCare System - Zanesville, Ohio

Rounding With a Purpose

One of the enhancements in patient care at Genesis that has greatly improved patient experience came without a price tag attached. It's not wired to the hospitals’ mainframe computer, Smiling Patient In Bednor is it wheeled into patient rooms on a cart, but its use has made a significant difference for patients just the same.

Many of the nursing units at Genesis have adopted a best-practices approach to delivering patient care – Purposeful Patient Rounding – that changes the way nurses and hospital staff interact with patients. What it means is that nurses make hourly visits to each patient’s room throughout the day. At night, staff members visit rooms every other hour.

“We work to meet patients’ needs sometimes before they realize they have the need,” says Abby Pratt, director of medical services. “It’s just one of those things that seems like common sense. It’s a simple thing to do, but it has made a dramatic difference.”

During these room visits, nurses proactively identify patient needs: they check on a patient’s pain level, help them use the restroom and adjust their pillows or bed so they’re more comfortable. Nurses also make sure the call light, phone, trash, reading materials, etc., are all within easy reach for the patient.

If a nurse makes the hourly visit when a patient is sleeping or out of the room, they leave behind a calling card to let patients know they visited and when they will be visiting the room next.

Since Purposeful Patient Rounding was implemented, patient feedback on those units has been very positive. Patients appreciate the greater attention to their needs and tend to use their call button less. The change has also had a positive impact for hospital staff as well, and the goal is for all nursing units to use the approach eventually.

“Patients quickly learn our rounds schedule, so they can relax knowing we’ll be there soon to answer their question or bring their medications,” says Shannon Nezbeth, nurse manager. “Taking a proactive approach makes much better use of our time and takes away a considerable amount of stress from patients.”

Originally published February 2009