Physician‐patient communication is of paramount importance in providing efficient, cost‐effective, and compassionate patient care. Many lawsuits stem from poor communication between health care providers and patients. Face‐to‐face contact is essential for providing good patient care but is also time consuming. Hospitalists often face the challenges of communicating with patients they have never seen before. They have to gain their patients' trust and achieve empathy and rapport in a timely fashion in order to ensure a high level of care and a smooth transition to outpatient providers.
Our goal was to explore a time‐efficient method called “minirounds” for improving physician‐patient communication and satisfaction at an academic hospitalist group of a large tertiary‐care center.
Minirounds were defined as a series of short patient encounters (each lasting about a minute) during which the physician asks patients about any changes in their condition and provide a concise daily update. We introduced the concept of minirounds as a pilot project of our academic hospitalist group at a large tertiary‐care center. Minirounds were conducted at the end of the workday at an acute inpatient setting and at the beginning of the day at a subacute step‐down facility. Two hospitalists from a group of 26 were assigned to use the new method, and their performance was compared with that of their peers. The regularly scheduled work rounds were conducted independently at both locations. Minirounds took an average of 20 minutes to see 15 patients in the hospital and an average of 30 minutes to see 30 patients at the subacute facility.
Our institution employs a callback program that consists of calling patients after discharge from the hospital and the subacute facility and asking about their impression of their stay and their perceived satisfaction with the care received. The callback program is conducted by telephone surveyors who are not connected to or funded by the hospitalist group.
At the end of the 2‐month pilot period, the satisfaction score of patients seen by hospitalists using the minirounds method was significantly higher. Both patients and physicians believed that minirounds improve communication and patient care.
Minirounds appear to be an effective and time‐efficient method for improving physician‐patient communication and satisfaction that deserves further exploration on a larger scale in the future.
V. Dimov, None; A. Kumar, None; R. Hebbar, None; W. Fares, None; P. Sharma, None.
To cite this abstract:Dimov V, Kumar A, Hebbar R, Fares W, Sharma P. “Minirounds” Improve Physician‐Patient Communication and Satisfaction. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2007, May 23-25, Dallas, Texas Abstract 78. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2007; 2 (suppl 2). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/minirounds-improve-physicianpatient-communication-and-satisfaction/. Accessed November 19, 2019.