Tips for Participating in Rounds

As a vital part of healthcare partnerships, patients and families are encouraged to participate in the discussion about their care when the healthcare team is making clinical rounds of the inpatient units. Rounds are when the medical team visits each inpatient as a group to review the patient’s status and care plan. Sharing your observations and asking questions during rounds can provide:

  • Valuable information exchange that can affect treatment and care planning
  • Exposure to thoughtful discussion and multiple care considerations
  • Important access to information and transparency that can help prevent medical error and
  • Ensure greater safety

Tips for patients and families:

  • Ask your nurse or physician when rounds occur. If you wish to participate and are available, let the team know.
  • If your work or family schedule will prevent you from participating, ask staff how you can best exchange information with the team and be updated about care discussions.
  • If rounds take place early in the morning, let the team know if you wish to be awakened.
  • If your preferred language is not English, make arrangements to have an interpreter summarize care plan updates for you.
  • Sometimes during rounds, the healthcare team may discuss alternatives in diagnoses or treatments. This discussion is part of the process of creating the best care plan for you or your child, and it may be part of the education process since CHOP is a teaching Hospital.
  • Ask questions about the logistics of rounds, time constraints and the team’s goals.
  • Find out the realistic amount of time you should expect the team will have with you. Use this time well by writing down your observations and questions before the team arrives.
  • Determine the best way to follow up with the team if you have additional questions or observations after rounds.
  • When the team arrives for rounds, introduce yourself by the name you prefer and let the team know your role and relationship to the patient.
  • You are encouraged to ask questions and to question “standard operating procedure.” You know what your child is experiencing best. Your observations can prevent potential medical errors before they occur.
  • Share feedback with the healthcare staff on your experience of participating in rounds: What worked? What could have been better?
August 2014