Interdisciplinary rounds: A must for hospitals committed to quality

Guest post by Raymond Hino, president and CEO of the Sonoma West Medical Center in California

Throughout my career in hospitals and healthcare, I have always been drawn to the ritual of daily patient rounds. I have had the privilege of working in hospitals as large as a 430-bed urban teaching hospital and as small as 25-bed rural community hospitals. Every hospital experience has been unique and highly rewarding in its own way, but one common denominator for me is that the best hospitals that I have worked in have often made good use of daily interdisciplinary rounds.

For example, the teaching hospitals are renowned for the phenomena of daily teaching rounds in which the teaching staff lead a troop of young interns and residents. But I have been equally impressed when I worked in a small hospital in rural Montana and our four-member medical staff made a practice of conducting morning rounds together, along with the nursing staff to get the maximum medical care for each of our hospital's inpatients. How great it was for each of our patients to receive decades of medical and nursing experience.

I am proud to say that my current hospital, a community hospital in Northern California, has found a valuable role for daily interdisciplinary rounds. Our rounds are attended by hospitalists, social workers, rehabilitation professionals, nurses, pharmacists, infection prevention specialists, dietary experts, case managers and discharge planners. Sometimes even an occasional hospital CEO will stop by to observe the process. All are welcome and encouraged to contribute.

>> Read the full commentary at Hospital Impact