As you may have read this week in a Detroit News article, my leadership team and I have recently incorporated care rounding with patients at Henry Ford Hospital into our weekly activities.
You might ask, “What’s new about a physician and an administrative team rounding on patients in a hospital?”
At Henry Ford Hospital, care rounds concentrate specifically on the general care and services a patient receives.
Although not fully divorced from clinical issues, these rounds bring out issues related to environment, food, communication, ease of use, and general comfort. Quite simply, it is the service aspect of our profession and business.
At the hospital, all of us go about our activities with a specific purpose. As a physician caring for patients, my concentration and intention is primarily on the diagnosis and treatment of the patient. Patients’ needs are generally first viewed from the perspective of their clinical care.
Much is discovered when the lens is focused intently.
I was struck by the application of purposeful activities when studying LEAN-inspired management methods, where so called “waste rounds” had managers stepping out of their usual role (which includes waste reduction in processes) to concentrate fully on eliminating unnecessary steps or use of supplies.
On care rounds, after asking if I can come into the room and talk, I introduce myself and acknowledge the patient formally before asking one simple question: “How has your care been at the hospital?”