Nurse Leader Rounding Enhances Employee Experience as Well

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical importance of fostering strong relationships within the healthcare setting. Today, nurse leaders and executives must devise new strategies that focus on patients, enhance their experiences, and improve care delivery.

One effective strategy is nurse leader rounding. While not a new concept, effective patient rounding is vital for improving patient experiences and bridging the gap between experience and quality.

When performed consistently and effectively, rounding transforms healthcare from a transactional experience to one characterized by Human Understanding, correlating with improved patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

Empathetic leadership in healthcare creates a deep connection with patients. Observing and acknowledging patient or parent attributes initiates a memorable and transformational relationship.

Leaders Make the Difference

“With patients, nurse leaders should round with the intention to demonstrate strong, visible leadership in their area,” says Toya Gorley, Improvement Advisor at NRC Health.

However, successful nurse leader rounding also benefits another crucial group: employees. Providing personalized care and attention may differ between patients and employees, but the core principle remains the same: develop a lasting impression that revolutionizes the healthcare experience. Effective nurse leader rounding benefits both patients and employees.

An Impactful Ripple Effect

Gorley states that the purpose of nurse leader rounding is fourfold: creating personal emotional connections, ensuring safety, initiating service recovery, and recognizing staff. This process has a ripple effect throughout the health system. Efficient nurse leader rounding benefits leaders, staff, and patients by:

  • Reinforcing motivation and a sense of accomplishment for the leader
  • Enhancing relationships between the nurse leader and staff
  • Establishing trust by proactively meeting staff needs
  • Recognizing and rewarding exceptional behaviors
  • Increasing the quality of patient care
  • Boosting patient satisfaction, which can lead to improved ratings and scores

Elevating the Employee Experience

The same visibility that comforts patients can also support employees. Nurse leaders can ensure that employees feel seen, heard, and valued during rounding, which improves retention, engagement, and the employee experience.

Nurses spend more time with patients than any other staff member, and engaging them is crucial for implementing nuanced and personal practices that benefit patients.

Nurse leader rounding is not one-size-fits-all, nor is it an interrogation session. It should be an authentic and sincere opportunity to connect with employees and patients.

Here Are Ways to Make Rounding Stick:

  • Be Specific: Set a target for the number of staff (and patients) to round on or commit to the expectations established by your organization.
  • Make a Plan: Block your calendar and protect rounding time, or add it to a recurring meeting to establish consistency.
  • Ask for Support: Seek advice from someone who rounds effectively. Take advantage of available training and resources.
  • Seek Accountability: Have an accountability partner, share your goals and expectations, and establish regular check-ins. Be open to feedback.
  • Celebrate Wins: Identify improvements and share success stories. Highlight the successes of others.
  • Regroup When Needed: Sustaining nurse leader rounding is challenging. Don’t give up!

Rounding is a focused time to connect with employees as much as it is a service for patients. Nurse leaders must show the same care and compassion to employees as they do for patients.

When done well, nurse leader rounding offers genuine, authentic, and eye-opening connections that go beyond improving patient experience scores, elevating the healthcare experience from good to great.

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