Original Article

Patients’ Perceptions of Bedside Rounding

Authors: Allen F. Shih, AM, Nana O. Addo-Tabiri, MD, Andre N. Sofair, MD, MPH


Objectives: Concerns regarding lack of privacy, poor patient understanding, and physician discomfort have led to a decline in rounding at the bedside. Our project explored patient perceptions of the implementation and value of bedside rounding.

Methods: This mixed-methods study used semi-structured qualitative interviews and a five-item Likert survey, which included questions about patients’ experiences with rounds, their comfort level with the rounding process, and their understanding of care after rounds. Interviews were analyzed using the constant comparative method and conducted until thematic saturation occurred.

Results: Patients described positive attributes of bedside rounds: meeting the medical team, helping teach the medical team, and understanding more about their illness. Although patients enjoyed undivided attention from physicians, distractions included too many participants in rounds, confusion about roles, and unclear expectations about the goal of rounds. Although physicians sought to use patient-centered language, 53% of patients stated that medical jargon was still used. Male patients reported a statistically significant improvement in their understanding about the plan for the day and borderline significance regarding knowing who was responsible for their care as compared with female patients.

Conclusions: Well-conducted, patient-centered bedside rounds greatly enhance patient–physician rapport and foster patient understanding and satisfaction.

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