Patient experience management software

5 Common Rounding Problems - And How to Solve Them!

Nurses, by definition, care about their patients. Unfortunately, in a data-driven society, many current hospital rounding practices make it difficult for nursing staff to develop genuine relationships or have authentic conversations with their patients.

Why is this the case? We’re diving into the challenges faced by the staff and offering solutions to achieve more personalized patient experiences and improve business outcomes.

Issue #1: Falling into the checklist trap

Patient rounding and data collection are critical to providing excellent care, but you don’t want to treat people like their feelings are just another box to be checked off of a list. Whether you’re using digital or paper rounding tools, multiple-choice questions and checklists should be avoided.

Relying on these reduces patient trust in the nursing team and leads to missing or overlooking patient issues.

Solution: Ask open-ended questions

Instead, engage in open, honest conversations with each patient. After all, rounding isn’t an interrogation! Asking open-ending questions makes a patient feel less “managed” and, therefore, more willing to open up about what they’re thinking, feeling, and experiencing. Ultimately, this leads to better care and improved patient outcomes.

Issue #2: Letting patient feelings get buried in nurse-led conversations

We understand that nurses are extremely busy. While doing their rounds, they know what information they would like to gather from each patient, but that can cause certain things to fall through the cracks. As patients respond to rote questions, it may not occur to them to bring up specific problems.

Solution: Support patient-led conversations

Switching gears to patient-led engagement is the best way to ensure nothing gets overlooked. When choosing rounding tools, look for a robust system that allows patients to voice their concerns easily. From here, their responses can be immediately transmitted to a nurse’s tablet so that proper responses and care can be offered in real-time. 

Having this level of insight helps nurses better prepare themselves for quality conversations when entering the patient’s room and leaves patients feeling heard.

Issue #3: Losing touch with patients

Patients shouldn’t fall off your radars after they head home. Discharging a patient by rattling off a list of instructions just isn’t enough. Too often, people don’t follow up on referrals, don’t attend surgical follow-up appointments, and don’t take their required medicine. 

Solution: Continue rounding through the transition of care

Making use of a rounding tool that considers discharge and aftercare is crucial. The right system will enable you to record and share discharge instructions so that patients can easily access the information and reach out for clarification. It should streamline the process of connecting with patients as they transition to home life or further medical services, increasing the likelihood of full recovery. 

Issue #4: Receiving poor HCAHPS scores 

Relying on surveys after a patient has left the hospital is a backward way of going about collecting data. Doing this increases the odds of receiving poor HCAHPS scores and hurts your bottom line. 

Solution: Get proactive 

Pay attention to what’s going on with your patients during their stay. The right rounding tools will allow for honest, insightful patient feedback. Then, if a problem arises, you can address it immediately. The end result is happier, healthier patients and a happier, healthier hospital. 

Issue #5: Relying on lackluster rounding tools

Just because you switched to digital rounding tools doesn’t mean you’re getting the best data. If your system isn’t empowering patients to speak up, and if it’s more focused on checklists than open-ended conversations, you’re going to struggle to meet and exceed patient expectations. 

Solution: Embrace Change 

Recognize that sometimes you have to ditch the old way of doing things and take a leap into something better. Change can feel overwhelming, but switching to a patient-led method will improve patient experiences while helping nurses to fall deeper in love with offering quality care and connections. 


Rounding is a vital part of your patient's healthcare journey. With these 5 solutions and the right digital tool at hand, your dedicated staff can turn the rounding process more efficient and professional. When done correctly, rounding is an incredibly impactful way to provide more personalized patient experiences.

Book a demo with us to learn more about Steer Health’s inpatient solutions.

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