Sneak Peek: Journal of Hospital Medicine

The impact of bedside interdisciplinary rounds on LOS, complications


Background: Communication among team members within hospitals is typically fragmented. Bedside interdisciplinary rounds (IDR) have the potential to improve communication and outcomes through enhanced structure and patient engagement.

Objective: To decrease length of stay (LOS) and complications through the transformation of daily IDR to a bedside model.

Design: Controlled trial.

Setting: Two geographic areas of a medical unit using a clinical microsystem structure.

Patients: 2,005 hospitalizations over a 12-month period.

Interventions: A bedside model (mobile interdisciplinary care rounds [MICRO]) was developed. MICRO featured a defined structure, scripting, patient engagement, and a patient safety checklist.

Measurements: The primary outcomes were clinical deterioration (composite of death, transfer to a higher level of care, or development of a hospital-acquired complication) and length of stay (LOS). Patient safety culture and perceptions of bedside interdisciplinary rounding were assessed pre- and post-implementation.

Results: There was no difference in LOS (6.6 vs. 7.0 days, P = .17, for the MICRO and control groups, respectively) or clinical deterioration (7.7% vs. 9.3%, P = .46). LOS was reduced for patients transferred to the study unit (10.4 vs. 14.0 days, P = .02, for the MICRO and control groups, respectively). Nurses and hospitalists gave significantly higher scores for patient safety climate and the efficiency of rounds after implementation of the MICRO model.

Limitations: The trial was performed at a single hospital.

Conclusions: Bedside IDR did not reduce overall LOS or clinical deterioration. Future studies should examine whether comprehensive transformation of medical units, including co-leadership, geographic cohorting of teams, and bedside interdisciplinary rounding, improves clinical outcomes compared to units without these features.

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