Study Shows Multidisciplinary Rounding Boosts Teamwork, Communication

July 22, 2010

A new study shows that multidisciplinary rounding scored higher marks for teamwork and communication than hospitalist-only rounding.

When it comes to making rounds in the hospital setting, two—or more—is better than one.

Hospitalists and nurses who do multidisciplinary rounds tend to give higher marks for teamwork, communication, and safety culture than they do in units that have hospitalist-only rounding, according to research published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Kevin J. O’Leary, MD, MS, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, led a study that compared units where only hospitalists treat patients to those that feature interdisciplinary rounding by nurse managers, hospitalists, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and case managers.

Although effective collaboration and teamwork has proven to be essential in providing quality care, research has revealed reveals deficiencies in teamwork on medical units involving hospitalists. This controlled trial was conducted to assess the impact of an intervention, Structured Inter-Disciplinary Rounds (SIDR), on nurses’ ratings of collaboration and teamwork.

SIDR, according to researchers, combined a structured format for communication with a forum for regular interdisciplinary meetings; nurses were asked to rate the quality of communication and collaboration with hospitalists using a 5-point scale. O’Leary and colleagues assessed teamwork and safety climate using a validated instrument, and used multivariable regression analyses to assess the impact on length of stay (LOS) and cost using both a concurrent and historic control.

A larger percentage of nurses rated the quality of communication and collaboration with hospitalists as high or very high on the intervention unit compared to the control unit; teamwork and safety climate were also rated significantly higher on the intervention unit. However, there was no impact on LOS and cost. Therefore, “further study is required to assess the impact of SIDR on patient safety measures.”