In the changing environment of the National Health Service (NHS) medical ward rounds
have become increasingly complex. With complexity comes the inevitable risk that things will go
wrong. Serious failures in care can have important consequences for individual patients, their families,
cause distress to health care staff and undermine public confidence in the NHS. The paper’s aim is to
introduce the concept of a medical ward round considerative checklist to improve ward round
processes, effectiveness, reliability and efficiency, aid team working and foster better communication.
The checklist includes aspects of ward round preparation, the
consultation, progress assessment, discharge planning and handover. It is a “considerative checklist”
as it not simply checking if an essential component has been done but rather that it has been
considered, discussed, action identified and communicated effectively and involves an “at the point of
care check and correct” process.
The introduction of the checklist has provided a systemic approach to medical ward
rounds, provided reassurance that quality care is given, aided active participation from all health care
professionals and reignited team work. It has streamlined handover, improved patient and professional
communication, improved medical documentation and provided an audit tool for on going improvement.
The diversity of general medicine makes standard measures of quality of care such as length of stay, morbidity and mortality outcomes hard to measure; however, qualitative data can be obtained.
The authors have developed a systemic ward round approach which ensures
attention to quality and safety at the point of care, encourages team working and improvements can be
You can find the complete paper here- https://www.dropbox.com/s/dpbprrw7h92ua6c/Validation%20of%20Checklist.pdf?dl=0
Authors - Roselle Herring Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford, UK Gordon Caldwell Worthing Hospital. Western Sussex NHS Trust, Worthing, UK, and Steve Jackson University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK
You can follow Dr Gordon Caldwell on twitter - @doctorcaldwell
This abstract is from - An International Journal Vol. 16 No. 2, 2011 pp. 129-136 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1477-7274 DOI 10.1108/14777271111124482