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Ward rounds crucial to patient care, say RCP and RCN

Ward rounds are critical to providing high quality, safe care for patients, but are often a neglected part of the planning and organisation of inpatient care, according to a new report1 from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Nursing.

The report says that current problems include:

  • Variation in the purpose and conduct of ward rounds, which are often inadequately prioritised
  • Inadequate time set aside for ward rounds
  • Not all members of the team are always included, which has consequences for communications and patient safety
  • Ward rounds by different medical teams taking place at the same time, or involving visits to several wards on the same round

The report calls for ward rounds to be made the cornerstone of patient care and for a culture change amongst staff, with clinical staff, managers and hospital executives focusing on improving ward rounds.

The report was produced by a multidisciplinary working group including doctors, nurses, managers and patients collaborating on the project.

References

1. Kirthi V, Ingham J, Lecko C, et al. Ward rounds in medicine Principles for best practice. A joint publication of the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Nursing. London: RCP, 2012. Available from: http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/resources/ward-rounds-medicine-principles-best-practice

Published on: October 19, 2012

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