Importance Of Ward Round

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Introduction A medical ward round is, according to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) guidelines “a complex clinical process during which the clinical care of hospital inpatients is reviewed” . Unfortunately, the importance of ward rounds for achieving good medical care is often underestimated by healthcare professionals . While their real life application varies from one clinical setting to another, ward rounds have several important purposes. These include aspects that directly influence the patient’s medical care, such as establishing or reassessing the patient’s diagnosis, creating a management plan, and arranging for their discharge, while communicating this to the patient in appropriate terms. The ward round should also function as a point where the multidisciplinary team (MDT) responsible for the patient can communicate and coordinate their efforts towards holistic treatment. Ward-round Guidelines The RCP/RCN guidelines suggest maintaining a clear structure for ward rounds in order to achieve a good quality of care . Prior to starting, a pre ward-round briefing should occur, where all members of the team should be prepared for the ward round, for instance by being brought up to date on their patients’ cases or being informed about their individual roles for the ward round. Similarly, a post-round debriefing should be held to ensure that there is no uncertainty about the decisions and plans that have been made about the patient care. Lack of clarity and differences in prioritising tasks among healthcare professionals in a team has been found to be a common cause of preventable adverse patient outcomes . The guidelines also indicate the importance of the MDT approach to the ward r... ... middle of paper ... ...w prepared patients are for ward rounds when they occur and how involved they feel in the decision making process of their own care. This would ensure that patient needs are being met by the ward round process. • In the pre ward-round briefing, assign each MDT member specific roles. This should aid the ward round process by increasing efficiency and reducing errors. • Encourage the nurses to take an active part of the ward round whenever possible, and ensure that they are also briefed on their roles. Extensive literature suggests that nursing involvement is crucial for a successful ward round. • Establish a pilot ward round proforma and subsequently audit its efficacy. The proforma should be ward-specific, and should have considerable space left for free text and comments, in order to allow note-taking for the dynamic situations that occur in hospital. Appendix
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