Interdisciplinary rounds represent a new model of care that brings all members of a healthcare team to patients’ bedside to promote accountability, collaboration, and participation in care. The lack of effective communication among practitioners operating in various areas of patient care contributes to decreased patient outcomes and limits the quality of services provided to them. The purpose of the current project is to expand the collaboration within interdisciplinary teams of healthcare providers to reach the desired level of patient outcomes.
The anticipated end result of the project is the extension of care for patients with the help of practitioners’ expertise involved in bedside rounds at healthcare facilities. The correct implementation of the project is expected to increase patient satisfaction by alleviating the burden of their illnesses and conditions. Bedside rounds represent a set of teamwork activities that healthcare providers will implement by sharing knowledge and expertise pertinent to patient care under the guidance of a team leader.
Improving the overall patient outcomes is the ultimate goal of health care within any setting. The implementation of various methods to ensure that patients receive the desired level and quality of care is therefore essential. Factors contributing to poor patient outcomes range from the lack of optimal treatment planning to the absence of collaboration between healthcare providers. Interdisciplinary care may often be sporadic, unstructured, and geographically limited.
Also, there may be issues with the lack of sufficient physicians’ involvement in the process of caring for patients as well as leadership. Therefore, in the current proposal, a focus will be placed on the effects of interdisciplinary rounding to improve overall patient outcomes and general well-being. This strategy has been gaining more popularity recently due to the increased need to combine the knowledge and expertise from different participants of the healthcare process. The increased accountability and shared responsibility inherent to interdisciplinary bedside rounds brings the process of care to a new level, thus improving patient outcomes significantly.
The problem of ineffective interdisciplinary collaboration and communication has always existed within clinical practice because practitioners have to interact with each other to provide optimal care. According to the article by Beaird (2019), bedside rounding is an interdisciplinary process that dates back to 1873 as a method for educating medical students to be more effective during patient evaluations. However, despite the practice being used in healthcare facilities for centuries, it can still be limited by the lack of structure and leadership efforts targeted at the improvement of patient outcomes through collaboration.
The issue has been addressed previously in multiple research, with interdisciplinary rounding being supported by the exchange of knowledge between practitioners. In their research, Basic, Huynh, Gonzales, and Shanley (2018) mentioned that the structuration of interdisciplinary bedside rounds would increase the accountability because of the use of such tools as protocols with safety checklists. For healthcare organizations, patient satisfaction rates usually decrease alongside with the reputation of facilities when interdisciplinary rounding is ineffective. For patients, there is a direct adverse impact on their well-being and health, which is why the proposed solution is necessary to implement.
To solve the issue of poor quality outcomes among patients, it is recommended to integrate the interprofessional bedside rounding procedures as well as practitioners’ training. As mentioned by Quatrara et al. (2019), the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for interdisciplinary teams to be effective in improving patient outcomes can only be developed through experience and training. This means that the approach to leadership in the maintenance of interprofessional collaboration should focus on coaching and the sharing of knowledge between team members who provide care to patients. Regular meetings of the interdisciplinary team to discuss rounding results represent a cohesive strategy for communicating the progress of the improvement. A collaborative plan to improve the quality and safety of healthcare will include the following steps:
- Develop an effective evaluation process that will communicate the expected outcomes and goals of the interdisciplinary collaboration during bedside rounds. The process should include consistent surveillance, revisions of plans of care and interventions, and the documentation of the progress.
- Focus on both practitioner and patient education. Patients should be educated on self-care practices and autonomy, as suggested by Orem’s nursing theory. In addition, training and education are necessary to support interdisciplinary practice and make it more structured.
- Use clinical decision support tools to guide collaborative efforts. Instead of viewing care as a series of tasks and activities, practitioners should approach care plans as opportunities to provide their colleagues with tools for powerful clinical decisions.
To implement the solution for improving patient outcomes, it is necessary to ensure a high degree of understanding and collaboration. Interdisciplinary rounds should be treated as teamwork assignments during which the practitioners have shared responsibilities of caring for a patient (Basic et al., 2018). A leader’s role in this scenario is therefore associated with the assignment of tasks and competencies to the members of the interdisciplinary team as well as the monitoring of the progress associated with patient outcomes. As applied to interdisciplinary rounding, the scholar-practitioner model implies the commitment to the well-being of patients as well as the conceptualization of a team’s work within community, organizational, and cultural contexts.
Implementation and Evaluation
The project is intended to include attending physicians, physicians in training, nurses, and advanced care practitioners (Pennington et al., 2018). In the leadership role, a healthcare provider will be responsible for assigning roles and responsibilities as well as ensuring that each team member complies with the established collaborative plan of care. The leader is expected to guide the work of the team with the help of positive leadership and management qualities, effective communication, training and development, and the creation of a positive work climate. The success of the project will be evaluated through implementing anonymous patient surveys as well as the statistical analysis of patient outcomes. If patient outcomes improve while their satisfaction increases after the integration of regular interdisciplinary bedside rounds, the project will be considered successful.
Despite the wide application of interdisciplinary bedside rounds throughout the development of healthcare as a practice, limitations associated with the lack of involvement, leadership, and structure persist to this day. Patient outcomes tend to decrease with the absence of cohesive teamwork efforts exhibited by different healthcare actors specializing in various aspects of care. The proposed project targets the improvement of patient outcomes by introducing consistent and coherent efforts for promoting collaboration within healthcare teams. Through committing themselves to improve patient outcomes, members of an interdisciplinary team can enhance their own expertise and contribute to the process with their knowledge and skills.
Basic, D., Huynh, E., Gonzales, R., & Shanley, C. (2018). Structured interdisciplinary bedside rounds, in-hospital deaths, and new nursing home placements among older inpatients. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 13, 2289-2294.
Beaird, G. (2019). Historical review of nurse-physician bedside rounding. AJN, 119(4), 30-38.
Pennington, K., Dong, Y., Coville, H., Wang, B., Gajic, O., & Kelm, D. (2018). Evaluation of TEAM dynamics before and after remote simulation training utilizing CERTAIN platform. Medical Education Online, 23, 1-5.
Quatrara, B., Brashers, V., Baernholdt, M., Novicoff, W., Schlag, K., Haizlip, J., … Kennedy, C. (2019). Enhancing interprofessional education through patient safety and quality improvement team-training: A pre-post evaluation. Nurse Education Today, 79, 105-110.