Is the post-take ward round standardised?

Clin Teach. 2012 Oct;9(5):334-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-498X.2012.00566.x.


Background: The importance of the post-take ward round to both patient safety and medical education cannot be overemphasised. Despite this, significant variation exists between consultants and senior doctors in the conduct and content of ward rounds. This discrepancy prompted the idea of using a checklist to audit whether essential components were being consistently addressed during post-take ward rounds. This would allow an exploration of whether introducing a checklist would benefit both patient safety and medical education.

Methods: The post-take ward round was audited by a small group of medical students over a few months using a checklist. This checklist contained 17 evidence-based items that had been identified as important for patient safety. A number of different consultants were included in the audit.

Results: Results of the audit analysis confirmed that there was significant variability between consultants in both the approach and the content of the post-take ward round. Although some areas were completed most of the time, there were other areas in which inconsistent approaches were demonstrated.

Discussion: As such variability was demonstrated between consultants in their conduct of the ward rounds, it was concluded that the introduction of this checklist would provide a standardised approach that junior doctors could learn from. Therefore, the introduction of this checklist into clinical practice was identified as a worthwhile teaching resource for juniors in order to enhance patient safety and foundation doctor learning.

MeSH terms

  • Checklist*
  • Humans
  • Medical Audit
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Team / standards
  • Patient Safety / standards*
  • Teaching Rounds / methods*
  • Teaching Rounds / organization & administration*
  • Teaching Rounds / standards