Quality & Safety Scoop: Social Distancing and Multidisciplinary Rounds

 By Bridget Norton, M.D., MBA, Chief Quality & Safety Officer

Multidisciplinary rounding is essential to providing quality patient care and a robust educational experience. Children’s recognizes the rounding challenges you are experiencing and is committed to supporting the staff by addressing needs as they evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic. These concerns were taken to our Incident Command clinical operations group, as well as our Physician Advisory team, for discussion and to generate recommendations.

Through the efforts of the above groups, we conducted a benchmarking effort and received data from 31 hospitals throughout the country. As expected, we received a wide range of responses, but ultimately, we were unable to adopt a uniform rounding guideline due to the unique needs and limitations of each individual unit and clinical area. 

Moving forward, the recommendation is for teams to develop a rounding model that is as safe and socially distanced as is feasible within each area. Some areas may utilize a completely virtual process, some a hybrid approach of bedside and virtual rounding and others a bedside approach. 

We are asking all staff to do their best to support the following recommendations:

  • Wear masks at all times
  • Wear goggles in patient care areas and during rounds when unable to achieve the appropriate 6 feet of distance between team members
  • Avoid other teams during bedside rounds
  • Close surrounding doors to maintain HIPAA compliance
  • Remind those in the area who are not actively participating in rounds to be as quiet as possible to facilitate better communication
  • Do not eat or drink when in the presence of others (rounds)
    • Wear goggles if sharing a space with someone while eating or drinking (break/lunch) 
  • Maintain necessary social distancing in all situations
    • Conference rooms
    • Bedside rounds
    • Break rooms
    • Shared offices 

Check with your unit leadership for specific information and guidance regarding how to best utilize all available conference rooms to maximize social distancing while eating, as well as to allow residents, APPs and students to spread out further while doing their daily work. Thank you for your dedication to keeping our patients and staff safe. Please reach out to Bridget Norton, M.D., or send an email to IncidentCommand@ChildrensOmaha.org with any questions and/or concerns. 

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