A bunch of people bit my head off on my A Better Way To Round post, assuming that I was ignoring patient communication. Idiot Savant’s comment pretty much sums it up–the point I was making was that because we spend so much needless time rounding, we often lack time for patients, in terms of communicating properly, frequently, and promptly, updating them and them families, doing procedures, etc.
I want to improve rounding so that we medical students, interns, residents, fellows, and attendings have more time for more important stuff than collecting numbers from a computer screen and copying them down multiple times. (Each person in the above list spends at the very, very least one hour doing this. Every. Day.)
Other ideas for improving patient care and communication:
- A little notebook and pen for every inpatient. They write down their questions, and when we stop by we answer them. Easy.
- For the less acute patients who are needing to reach some goal before discharge (I’m particularly thinking about fluid-retaining CHF patients who need to diurese but go to the cafeteria way too often): A calendar where they can list their daily weights, to motivate them. This could be applied to other patient populations as well.