What Does “Making Your Rounds” Mean in A Hospital Setting?

hospital medical staff

What Are Hospital Rounds?

A hospital is a place people come when they need medical attention. Whether a routine surgery, a critical illness, or an elective procedure, receiving proper and effective care is important to the patient’s well-being.

To provide the care patients need to ensure wellness, hospital medical staff routinely take part in a practice called making rounds. This practice typically includes doctors, nurses, or patient care assistant and it involves going room to room for patient evaluations. What each medical team includes within their rounds may vary, but most include a discussion regarding the best method of bringing the patient to wellness and discharge from the hospital.

Common issues discussed during rounds include:

  • The patient’s safety risks
  • New problems that have arisen since last rounds
  • Current pain management
  • Current medications
  • Medical tests needed and scheduled
  • Fluid balance
  • Oxygen or pulmonary needs and goals
  • Overall goals for the day

Who Participates in Rounds?

Along with the base medical team, these discussions often include the patient or patient’s, family. They can be brief or lengthy depending on the individual patient’s needs.

When discussing each patient’s histories, risks, and objectives, it is common to keep in mind the ultimate goal—discharge from the hospital. Sometimes discharge comes easily, but other times major complications arise. This causes setbacks and forces the medical team to reevaluate their game plan. At times, specialists may be brought in to participate in rounds for patients who need deeper care.

Specialists who might be needed include:

  • Cardiologists
  • Pulmonologists
  • Nephrologists

If a patient is experiencing frequent heart function issues, a cardiologist may be brought in. High or low heart rate, high or low blood pressure, or an abnormal heart rhythm are common issues requiring a cardiologist.

The pulmonologist may be contacted when a patient’s lung function is affected. Low oxygen saturation or weak lungs are often cause to bring in a lung doctor.

A nephrologist is a kidney doctor. These specialists are often included in rounds to discuss a patient’s fluid balance. They are also included in rounds when a patient is on dialysis.

Making Rounds Easier for Everyone

In years past, and sometimes still today, medical staff has carried clipboards and heavy binders to provide access to each patient’s records. These records assist staff with making critical and lifesaving decisions based on the patient’s medical history.

With the increasing popularity of medical carts for laptops, medical teams are taking advantage of electronic medical records. This option eliminates the need for cumbersome binders and other methods of note keeping. They provide immediate access to all of the patient’s history including medication lists, diagnoses, allergies, and complications.

Medical laptop carts on wheels are mobile and customizable. This makes them a great tool of versatility for medical staff.

Hospital rounds are a crucial part of excellent medical care. Fine tuning the best method of performing rounds in your facility can help you run a more efficient operation and return your patients to their normal lives happier and healthier.

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