Control infections with leadership rounding
Leadership rounding is known to be an effective way to boost staff morale and keep them connected with your hospital. According to new research, such practice could be the key to better infection control. This is because leadership rounding can create a sense of "psychologic safety," which makes frontline staff and clinicians more comfortable revealing potential problems to hospital leaders, researchers explained.
The researchers, led by a team at the University of Wisconsin, conducted leadership rounds on a unit basis over a period of seven months at UW Health, University Hospital and the American Family Children's Hospital. They identified 350 instances across 22 rounds where staff disclosed issues with hospital-acquired infections and discussed potential solutions with executives.
"By fostering an open culture, health leaders are able to problem solve with frontline staff to determine barriers to implementation," said lead author Mary Jo Knobloch, PhD, an infectious disease researcher at UW. "This presents an opportunity to move evidence to practice and better protect patients from harm."
As part of the study, researchers interviewed participants across the 19 units to better understand the impact of having such interactions between executives and frontline employees. According to staff members, their leaders listened attentively, and that having discussions on patient safety in the actual units better illustrated the "business" of the day-to-day work.
However, the researchers noted, staffers were uncomfortable when executives on rounds compared performance between units. Comparing the units directly, according to the frontline staff, was unfair, as each has a different set of work circumstances and a varying patient population.
In addition, staff pointed to the fact that the expectations for the rounds were unclear. They wanted better guidance from executives on where the conversations were leading and the impact. Still, they said they felt having these conversations was crucial to a culture change around infection control.
Hospital leaders looking to adopt University of Wisconsin Health's rounding approach could start in the emergency department, which may be neglected in infection control programmes, experts say.
The UW study is published in the American Journal of Infection Control.
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Published on : Wed, 9 May 2018