Posted April 25, 2016

Managing Resistance to Rounding

By Vikki Choate, MSN, R.N., NEA-BC, CCM, CPHQ

As a coach and speaker with Studer Group, I spend the majority of my time in the field working side-by-side with healthcare leaders each day. As we work together to implement new processes or tactics, I sometimes hear concerns about adding “one more thing” onto an already packed work day. The concern isn’t shared because they don’t see the value or understand the importance, it’s because they simply don’t know where they will find the time! Rounding is one such example.

Although it does take time and requires us to change some behaviors, rounding is one of the most effective ways to build connections with staff and gather critical information to make both the organization and our patient care better. When conducted properly, meaningful rounding will actually save leaders time. (Read how it saved one CEO 78 hours a year!)

Rounding should be a positive experience for staff AND leaders. If you’re getting pushback from leaders, encourage them to focus their efforts on rounding on their high and middle/solid performers first. This gets the active engagement and recognition that rounding provides more quickly to these valued levels of staff and it helps leaders learning this new behavior to build up a nice repertoire of very positive experiences that can be shared with others.

Another tip to get leaders onboard is to ensure they are approaching rounding on staff positively, leading with ‘what’s in it for them’ as staff. Key words can be used to effectively convey the why behind rounding, such as:

We are committed to connect and round with each of our staff and we do this because:

  • We really want to have a great relationship with you (Personal connection)
  • We want to ensure you have everything you need to be successful (Tools and equipment)
  • We recognize that we have opportunities to do a better job recognizing the great work of our team and we need your help identifying others we should be recognizing (Who can I recognize for you?)
  • And, we need your ideas for improving how we operate in order to become the outstanding organization we want to be. We know you are aware of things we could improve. (Opportunities to improve; these are great key words for someone who complains without offering solution.)

It’s not always leaders sharing concern about the time rounding takes. At times it’s our staff who don’t want to be rounded on and may use time and availability as an excuse. As a leader you may hear “I’d meet with you but you know how busy we are.” In this instance, leaders can manage time and duration in advance. “Mary, I would really like to round on you because (insert reasons above). I know that you’re busy and out of respect for your time, I promise to keep it brief – about 5 minutes or so. What time works best for us to connect briefly to round?”

If a staff member still refuses to round when the reason behind it has been made clear, don’t force it – document it. Revisit them the next month and provide an example or two of something positive that was a direct result of rounding.

One final tip with regard to consistency in this practice – Studer Group has a software accelerator, MyRounding that allows leaders to streamline the rounding process. All feedback during rounding is documented in one central location, entered on a phone, tablet or computer, to easily pull reports and resolve issues identified during rounding. Learn more about the features or directly from a rounding expert at studergroup.com/rounding.

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