Hospital CEO Chat Part 5: How Smart Executive Rounding Improves Care Acumen and Delivery

MVI_4792.MOV.Still001More and more hospitals seek to incorporate or improve consistent executive rounding. The concept makes sense: Every week, the executive team and operational coaches round in all departments to review performance measures and improvement progress with department managers and staff. Rounding gets the executives on the floors to “lead from the front line.” This provides a hands-on understanding processes and people, while allowing executives to mentor, offer suggestions, provide feedback and support, and celebrate successes.

Also, department managers and staff can escalate barriers that they cannot solve themselves. Post rounding follow-up meetings identify clear action plans for both executives and department leaders. The most effective rounding occurs when executives and leaders have live, accurate information about patient care cycles and progress–the “care acumen” that leads to smart, decisive action to best progress quality care for all patients.

Our profiled hospitals and CEOs have firsthand perspective about the dramatic improvements in care quality, throughput efficiency and patient experience that disciplined, productive executive rounding delivers. We asked four hospital CEOs this question:

How has your executive commitment to purposeful rounding improved care, operations and everyone’s experience? 

Daniel P. Moen, President and CEO, Mercy Medical Center, Springfield, Mass.

Dan Moen: It’s really important to have real-time information available when you’re operating a hospital on a day-to-day basis. So when you have real-time information, you make changes on a real-time basis. You’re not making changes three months down the road in some meeting where this data gets reviewed. So we were able to get changes to the bedside more quickly; the staff have really responded to that because they see their efforts making improvements in the hospital every day. And they’re also seeing senior leadership much more involved in the hustle of day-to-day operations. We are there rounding every week. That’s probably the time that I enjoy the most out of any time on my schedule, and we’ve really seen some dramatic changes in culture in the hospital as a result of those changes in process.

Steve Scogna, President and CEO, Northwest Community Hospital near Chicago

Steve Scogna, President and CEO, Northwest Community Hospital near Chicago

Steve Scogna: One of the neat…components of the Care Logistics process has been our executive rounding. Executive rounding has allowed the executives to really understand and sit down for an extended period of time with a distinct group of people and really try to help problem solve. It’s allowed the executives to get together with the staff and really begin to work to solve problems together rather than to have some level of barrier or some sort of superficial process. Instead, we’re in there helping them fix problems and they know that we’re there to support them.

Dr. Ann Errichetti, CEO, St. Peter's Hospital, Albany, N.Y.

Dr. Ann Errichetti, CEO, St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany, N.Y.

Dr. Ann Erichetti: The [software and available live information] is really strongly coupled with our operational rounding and a commitment on the part of leadership to operational rounding. My senior executives participate. I feel very strongly about my role in leading this, not just the rounds but leading this important initiative. And I think that what it really comes down to is a commitment across the board, on the part of physicians and staff as well as leaders. Although I do believe it’s the role of leadership to be visible and to set the tone and to demand a culture of excellence, and that we build a culture of excellence. What our partnership with Care Logistics has brought us…is not just that visible leadership presence but also clear and measurable goals, whether it be length of stay, whether it be a variety of other metrics, and the use of lean tools and other evidence-based practices. And lastly staff engagement, which has been something which has been very powerful for us particularly as we move beyond length of stay, particularly as we move into our quality outcomes and into patient satisfaction.

Dr. Patrick Taylor, CEO, Holy Cross Hospital in Fr. Lauderdale

Dr. Patrick Taylor, CEO, Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale

Dr. Patrick Taylor: The impact of having real-time performance information available to the associates, to both caretakers and the directors who are taking care of the patients on a day-to-day basis, that’s been very eye-opening for them. They take responsibility for the data now. They’re able to come up with solutions to areas where we can improve. So it’s empowered them, it’s held them much more accountable, and it’s based on facts and data.

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