The Impact of Bedside Interdisciplinary Rounds on Length of Stay and Complications

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Abstract

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:

2 geographic areas of a medical unit using a clinical microsystem structure.

PATIENTS:

2005 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 postimplementation.

RESULTS:

There was no difference in LOS (6.6 vs 7.0 days, P = 0.17, for the MICRO and control groups, respectively) or clinical deterioration (7.7% vs 9.3%, P = 0.46). LOS was reduced for patients transferred to the study unit (10.4 vs 14.0 days, P = 0.02, 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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