The return of bedside rounds: an educational intervention

J Gen Intern Med. 2010 Aug;25(8):792-8. doi: 10.1007/s11606-010-1344-7. Epub 2010 Apr 13.


Background: Bedside rounds have decreased in frequency on teaching services. Perceived barriers toward bedside rounds are inefficiency and patient and house staff lack of preference for this mode of rounding.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of a bedside rounding intervention on the frequency of bedside rounding, duration of patient encounters and rounding sessions, and patient and resident attitudes toward bedside rounds.

Design: A pre- and postintervention design, with a bedside rounding workshop midway through two consecutive internal medicine rotations, with daily resident interviews, patient surveys, and an end-of-the-year survey given to all Medicine house staff.

Participants: Medicine house staff and medicine patients.

Measures: Frequency of bedside rounds, duration of new patient encounters and rounding sessions, and patient and house staff attitudes regarding bedside rounds.

Results: Forty-four residents completed the bedside rounding workshop. Comparing the preintervention and postintervention phases, bedside rounds increased from <1% to 41% (p < 0.001). The average duration of walk rounding encounters was 16 min, and average duration of bedside rounding encounters was 15 min (p = 0.42). Duration of rounds was 95 and 98 min, respectively (p = 0.52). Patients receiving bedside rounds preferred bedside rounds (99% vs. 83%, p = 0.03) and perceived more time spent at the bedside by their team (p < 0.001). One hundred twelve house staff (71%) responded, with 73% reporting that bedside rounds are better for patient care. House staff performing bedside rounds were less likely to believe that bedside rounds were more educational (53% vs. 78%, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Bedside rounding increased after an educational intervention, and the time to complete bedside rounding encounters was similar to alternative forms of rounding. Patients preferred bedside rounds and perceived more time spent at the bedside when receiving bedside rounds. Medicine residents performing bedside rounds were less likely to believe bedside rounds were more educational, but all house staff valued the importance of bedside rounding for the delivery of patient care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Boston
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internal Medicine / methods
  • Internship and Residency / methods
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Teaching Rounds / trends*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult