Following the publication of the Francis report, it has become clear that the quality of patient care needs to be put at the heart of the NHS through an overhaul of health and social care services.
With hospitals striving to be the best, I feel it is important to look at the basic values of maintaining patients’ respect and dignity while in hospital and identify ways forward that would improve patient care.
Since becoming a student nurse, I have noticed that time constraints and expectations of the service are getting greater and patient care at times can suffer, although staff are constantly trying their best and delivering excellent nursing care.
I have been thinking of ways to enhance the patient experience and one way that would make basic nursing care more achievable could be basic rounding, which is a method of systematically reviewing all patients on an hourly or two-hourly basis to ensure their fundamental care needs are met.
Basic rounding is simply a tick-list that can be checked off if the patient has no problems or if there is change to their condition this can be identified and acted on straight away. Basic rounding isn’t a new concept, some trusts have already implemented this and it is known as “intentional rounding”.
So far, it has been very effective in improving patient care.
The aim of basic rounding is to improve the delivery of patient-centred care and patient experience with the use of a proforma allowing a standardised approach.
The basic rounding checklist consists of eight important factors outlining both the norm for the patient as well as any changes that may indicate a change of condition. The eight important factors include:
- Mobility/pressure areas;
- Call bell use;
- Maintaining a safe environment.
There are many benefits for both patients and staff.
Patients have sometimes reported that they do not see a nurse regularly or they have been waiting a while for someone to answer their call bell, however basic rounding actually reduces call bell activity, reduces the number of falls, complaints and improves a person’s experience while in hospital.
Basic rounding also allows the patient to build up trust and gain confidence in the practitioner.
Patients feel safe in the knowledge that their care will be consistent and individualised to their own care needs and preferences.
Patients will have an overall better and safer hospital experience as basic rounding allows the patient to feel secure by increases patient contact.
What do you think of the idea of basic rounding? Do you think it would make care more effective, or would hinder nursing duties?
James Merrell is a 2nd year student nurse at Bournemouth University.
Karen Jenkins is a staff nurse at Yeovil District Hospital.