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How Do Interprofessional Healthcare Teams Perceive the Benefits and Challenges of Interdisciplinary Ward Rounds

Authors Walton V, Hogden A, Long JC, Johnson JK, Greenfield D

Received 7 August 2019

Accepted for publication 30 October 2019

Published 11 December 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1023—1032


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Victoria Walton,1 Anne Hogden,1 Janet C Long,2 Julie K Johnson,3 David Greenfield1

1Australian Institute of Health Service Management, University of Tasmania, Sydney, NSW 2015, Australia; 2Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 3Centre for Healthcare Studies, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Correspondence: Victoria Walton
Australian Institute of Health Service Management, University of Tasmania, Locked Bag 5052, Alexandria, Sydney NSW 2015, Australia
Tel +61 2 408 417 814

Purpose: Interdisciplinary bedside ward rounds have the capacity to facilitate coordinated interprofessional patient care. To be an effective means of care coordination, clinicians need an explicit understanding of how these rounds contribute to patient care. By identifying benefits and challenges to the effective use of interdisciplinary ward rounds, clinicians create an opportunity to improve interprofessional teamwork, care planning, and coordination of patient care.
Methods: A survey was conducted with frontline professionals in two acute care and two rehabilitation wards from a metropolitan teaching hospital. There were 77 participants, representing medical officers, nurses, and allied health clinicians. Questions examined the perceived benefits and challenges of conducting interdisciplinary ward rounds in their units. Survey findings were coded for meaning and then grouped into themes.
Results: Benefits revealed a desired care delivery model challenged by the complexities of organizational and professional cultures. The themes of “being on the same page”, “focusing on patients”, and “holistic care planning” underpinned the ideas of collaboration and improved patient-centred care, that is, benefits to patients. Challenges centred on health professionals’ time constraints and the coordination of teams to enable participation in rounds. The themes were more distinct, logistical barriers of “time”, “workforce”, and “care planning”.
Conclusion: Overall, clinicians recognise there are greater benefits to IBRs and have a willingness to participate. However, careful consideration is required to introduce and continually achieve the best from IBR as they require changes in organizational context and culture.

Keywords: challenges, benefits, coordination, patient focused care, time factors, communication

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