Environmental / Safety Rounds
Does your unit conduct environmental or safety rounds? Perhaps, they are called something different but the focus is the same. A team makes rounds on a regular schedule to determine if your area and the care your patients receive are in compliance with best practice and regulatory agencies.
The team members are from nursing, pharmacy, infection prevention, safety, building services and patient representative. I often find there is a lot of overlap on what team members want. For example, the pharmacist is worried about unsecured meds for misuse by patient but I worry about them too for sterility sake. Everyone is on the lookout for clean equipment - the infection prevention reason is obvious but it also impacts on patient satisfaction. Building services is worried about the correct disposal of regulated medical waste AND I'm worried about it too because I don't want you to have a needle stick.
Sometimes, it sounds like these rounds are conducted merely to appease regulatory agencies. When you see the safety team on your unit have you ever said, "Oh, is The Joint Commission coming again?" The rounds can identify system problems that place barriers to compliance. I often find it's a good time for on-the-spot education as it makes it more credible.
I think the best use of these rounds is to improve patient and staff safety not be a hit list of errors but some nurses feel it just points out what they are doing wrong. Let us hear your take on rounds.