‘Round’-the-Care Team at Southampton Memorial

Published 9:26 am Friday, March 15, 2013

by Laurie Ross

For many people, going to the hospital can be a bit intimidating. Besides the unfamiliar environment, there’s a reason for our visit about which we may be nervous — a test, procedure or perhaps surgery. And besides our own doctor, we probably don’t know any of the nurses or other medical professionals caring for us.

It’s natural to form a lasting impression about your local hospital and caregivers during a hospital stay — and opinions are often shaped by factors which may or may not have anything to do with our actual medical care. At Southampton Memorial Hospital, every employee works hard to make each patient feel comfortable during their time away from home. A significant part of this is a practice called “clinical hourly rounding.”

During these rounds, a patient’s care team establishes a schedule for each patient to be visited by a nurse. The nature of the visit may be to administer medication, make sure the patient is resting comfortably, or simply check in to see if a patient or family member has questions, concerns or special requests. When a caregiver comes to a patient room for clinical hourly rounding, he or she will ask the patient about their comfort and pain level; help the patient move or change positions, and assist with any trips to the bathroom. They’ll also make sure the patient has easy access to necessities, such as the phone, bedside table, water or other beverages, personal items, the call light, the urinal or bedpan, and the wastebasket.

Through clinical hourly rounding, Southampton Memorial Hospital nurses proactively meet the needs of our patients. In theory, a patient shouldn’t feel the need to use their call button because our care team has already anticipated and met any needs or requests.

This hourly assessment means that during a stay at Southampton Memorial Hospital a patient can expect to be visited by a nurse or other team member at scheduled times — approximately every hour during the day, and every two hours during the night. We’re dedicated to anticipating the individual patient’s personal needs and actively monitoring their well-being so that family and friends can help their loved one focus on recovery. Rounding is an extra touch point with the patient to ensure that we’re providing great care.

While nurses provide the majority of direct medical care, patient care is the responsibility of every employee at our hospital. Everyone from hospital leaders to non-clinical staff participate in daily rounds to ensure all patient needs are met — and to get patient feedback on how we can continue to improve the care and services offered at Southampton Memorial Hospital. Good patient care is everyone’s priority. Our experience has shown that clinical hourly rounding decreases patients’ anxiety and promotes confidence and trust in their caregivers. Most importantly, it promotes better continuity in patient care, fewer health complications and better recovery for our patients.

To learn more, visit www.smhfranklin.com, or call us today for a personal tour at 757-569-6182.

Laurie Ross, RN, has been the Chief Nursing Officer at Southampton Memorial Hospital since April 2007. She can be reached at 757-569-6182.