[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 10, May 2012].
In January 2012 the Prime Minister made calls for higher standards of nursing care and compassion. One of his main recommendations was for NHS hospitals to encourage hourly nursing rounds, to ensure patients’ essential care needs are met. This approach goes by the term “intentional rounding” in the US, while in the UK similar nursing practices are usually referred to as “care rounds” or “comfort rounds”.
This Policy Plus briefing examines different approaches to intentional rounding and reviews the evidence. Evidence suggests intentional rounding reduces the use of call bells and improves care because nurses detect problems earlier. Nurses also enjoy improved interactions with patients. Clinical outcomes include improvements to pain management, decreased falls and fewer pressure ulcers. Hydration and nutritional standards should be improved for dementia patients. Patient reported outcomes include a generally improved patient experience, higher patient satisfaction and a reduction in patient complaints.
Further UK research is required to study cost-effectiveness, sustainability and cost implications.
Piner, S. (2012). Intentional Rounding: What is the evidence? Policy Plus Evidence, Issues and Opinions in Healthcare. Issue 35, April 2012.
Lucas, B. [et al] (2010). Proactive patient rounding: developing nursing practice to improve the quality of patient care. London: Whipps Cross University Hospital Trust, November 2010.