Perception of physicians and nursing staff members regarding outside versus bedside ward rounds: ancillary analysis of the randomised BEDSIDE-OUTSIDE trial
BACKGROUND: We recently compared the effects of bedside and outside the room ward rounds on patients’ knowledge about their medical care. Here, we report preferences of medical and nursing staff members regarding outside versus bedside ward rounds.
METHODS: Within this ancillary project of a large multicentre randomised controlled trial, we prospectively conducted a survey of medical and nursing staff members participating in the weekly consultant ward rounds in the internal medicine division of three Swiss teaching hospitals between July 2017 and October 2019. Participants were asked about their preferences on outside versus bedside ward rounds. The primary endpoint was satisfaction of healthcare workers with the ward round measured with a visual analogue scale from 0 to 100.
RESULTS: Between July 2017 and October 2019, 919 patients were included in the trial, and we received 891 survey responses (nurses 15.6%, residents 26.8%, attending physicians 29.6%, consultants 7.8% and chief physicians 20.2%. In the overall analysis, mean (± standard deviation) satisfaction of healthcare workers was higher with outside the room than bedside ward rounds (78.03 ± 16.96 versus 68.25 ± 21.10 respectively; age-, gender- and centre-adjusted difference of –10.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] –12.73 to –8.19; p <0.001). Healthcare workers reported better time management, more discussion of sensitive topics and less discomfort when case presentations were conducted outside the room. A stratified subgroup analysis considering the profession, however, showed strong differences, with nurses being more satisfied with bedside rounds (69.20 ± 20.32 versus 65.32 ± 20.92, respectively; adjusted difference 4.35, 95% CI –1.79 to 10.51; p <0.001), whereas attending physicians showed higher satisfaction with outside the room rounds (82.63 ± 13.87 versus 66.59 ± 21.82; adjusted difference –16.51, 95% CI –20.29 to –12.72; p = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS: While bedside ward rounds are considered more patient centred and are preferred by the nursing staff, physicians prefer outside the room presentation of patients during ward rounds because of the perceived better discussion of sensitive topics, better time management and less staff discomfort. Continuous training including medical communication techniques may help to increase satisfaction of physicians with bedside ward rounds.
Trial registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03210987
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