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Infection Control & Patient Safety

Environmental / Safety Rounds

Published January 29, 2014 4:57 PM by Barbara Smith
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.

posted by Barbara Smith

3 comments

Yes, Evelyn. I understand how you feel - I'm sure some staff complain about me behind my back but U keep reminding myself it's for the patients' benefit.  

Bonnie- it sounds like you a provide   excellent patient care (and work in a fabulous location.) nice to hear you are interested in other aspects of patient safety.

A couple of sites you can try are:

www.IHI.org - Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Find out if your hospital participates in the NDNQI program from ANA - it measures nursing based outcomes.

Barbara Smith February 16, 2014 10:40 AM

thanks for this good info regarding importance of rounds in regards to infection control ,but see some of the staff are negativistics regarding this matter some are thinking we are doing rounds to pin point their wrong doings .

evelyn trinidad, , i fection control nurse hospital February 12, 2014 11:31 AM
hail ksa

I would like information on all areas of nursing to improve my services to our diverse clients that we care for.

Bonnie Williams, Med/?Surg - RN, Wuesthoff Medical Center February 11, 2014 2:55 PM
Rockledge FL

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    Occupation: Infection Control Professionals
    Setting: Welch Allyn; St. Luke’s Hospital (Smith)
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