Monday, August 11, 2014

Hourly Rounds Schedules for Nurses Improve Patient Satisfaction

A nurse-led study at an acute-care hospital in Houston found that overall patient satisfaction may be improved when nurses adopt hourly rounds schedules, but more research is needed to clearly define the benefit of hourly rounds to patients. The study was conducted at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, where nurses on one unit engaged in a standard hourly rounding process to see if it would improve efficiencies, patient satisfaction, and quality and safety metrics, reports EndoNurse.

The study, published in National Association for Healthcare Quality’s Journal for Healthcare Quality, is based on data collected over six months in two 32-bed cardiovascular surgery nursing units at the hospital. Nurses on the control unit proceeded with rounds as they had before. The research team was led by Rebecca Kreppler, a professor at the College of Nursing at Texas Women’s University in Houston.

The team examined weekly readmission rates, number of patient falls, patient satisfaction questionnaires, the number of steps nurses walked in a shift (to measure efficiency of care), total number of call lights used by patients, and a nursing staff survey.

The most significant difference between the two units was in how often patients used their call lights. Patients in the intervention unit used their call lights less than patients on the control unit, and also indicated in surveys that they were satisfied with how quickly call lights were answered. Kreppler noted however, that because hourly rounding was only one of several quality improvement strategies employed in the units, more research was needed to see the direct impact it may have on patient outcomes, according to Endo Nurse.

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