Hourly Rounding Improves Patient Care
Petrillo, MSN, RN-BC
As nurses, we are charged with the responsibility of ensuring patient
safety and improving patient satisfaction. Although at first it may seem like
another task to add to the list, hourly rounding can help us achieve these
goals while also organizing our workflow. Hourly rounding, or checking on the patient
at regular intervals to assess the 4 P’s- pain, position, potty and proximity
of personal items, does not have to be done by the RN alone. Sharing the
responsibility with the CNA is a good way to avoid becoming overwhelmed. For
example, RNs can check on the patients on even hours and CNAs on odd hours
Hourly rounding has been shown to decrease call bell usage, improve patient
satisfaction and decrease falls rates (Olrich, Kalman & Nigolian, 212).
These are three things that nurses are always striving to do! By planning ahead
and performing hourly rounds while clustering tasks such as pain assessments
and medication administration, nurses can achieve goals while organizing their
workflow and becoming more efficient with time spent in patient rooms. When the
patient knows when to expect someone back in his/her room, he/she is less
likely to press the call bell, thus limiting interruptions to the nurse’s
Hourly rounding is a multidisciplinary action which can help improve
the patient experience. By assessing patient needs on regular intervals, the
patient is more satisfied, less likely to call and less likely to fall. In my
institution, we hold each other accountable for performing hourly rounds by
having a sheet in each room where the staff member making rounds on that
patient can initial in the space next to the corresponding hour. We hold each
other accountable by reminding each other to make rounds and passing along
messages regarding patient needs discovered during rounds to the appropriate
staff members. Making this a shared responsibility helps improve teamwork and
Lauren Petrillo s a senior staff nurse at New
York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York City.
Halm, M. A. (2009). Hourly Rounds: What Does the Evidence Indicate? Am J Crit Care,18, 581-584.
Olrich, T., Kalman, M., & Nigolian, C. (2012). Hourly Rounding: A Replication Study. MESURG Nursing, 21(1), 23-36.