[A brief reference to this item appears in: Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 3 Issue 3, October 2012].
Ward rounds are being neglected in some hospitals, to the detriment of patients, largely due to the lack of guidelines.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Nursing have issued joint guidelines to re-prioritise ward rounds. This guidance defines recommendations and principles for best practice regarding ward rounds.
Members of multidisciplinary teams (including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and allied health professionals) should be allowed time to participate, with their individual roles and responsibilities during and after ward rounds being defined clearly. Guidance now covers:
- Structuring ward rounds: preparation, scheduling and post-round review.
- Patient participation: preparing patients in advance to promote shared decision-making and self-management.
- Protection of vulnerable patients.
- Ensuring nursing involvement.
- Use of safety checklists to reduce omissions and unacceptable variations.
- Discharge planning and giving patients a plan for managing their care after hospital discharge.
Triggle, N. (2012). Call to make ward rounds ‘cornerstone of hospital care’. London: BBC Health News, October 4th 2012.
RCP and RCN (2012). Ward rounds in medicine. Principles for best practice: a joint publication of the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Nursing. London: Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Nursing, October 2012.