5 Steps to Begin Digital Rounding


Rounding is a crucial hospital function aimed at improving quality of care and patient outcomes. In addition to keeping patients safe and healthy, rounding enables hospital staff to gather feedback and data to help identify areas for improvement and drive positive change.

Although the value of rounding is well understood, only 50% of nurses indicate that they are satisfied with their team’s current rounding processes. The traditional method of pen-and-paper rounding often results in excessive documentation, fragmented communication, and limited time spent on direct patient care. With the recent growth of technology in the healthcare industry, organizations must turn to evidence-based digital rounding solutions to optimize care.

We have outlined five steps to help you get started with digital rounding:

  1. Determine Needs and Goals

To prepare for digital rounding, you must first determine and prioritize the needs of your organization. Needs arise and evolve based on a number of factors, such as policy reform, cultural shifts, and the behavior of competitors. Your needs will dictate the types of rounding you want to prioritize (patient-centered, organization-centered, staff-centered), and your objectives for rounding.

  1. Choosing a Digital Rounding Solution

When choosing a digital tool, you should consider how successfully it will help you to achieve your organizational goals. Important questions to ask include:

  • How easily will the technology integrate into your workflow and be adopted by staff?
  • What are the costs, and what is the expected ROI?
  • Is the solution adaptable to our organization’s changing needs?
  • What results have similar hospitals seen after implementing this solution?
  1. Customize Rounding Scripts and Alerts

Rounding scripts should not be seen as “one size fits all.” The questions asked will differ depending on the purpose of the round and the population being rounded on. Patient-centered rounds, the most common form of rounding, will likely include a number of multiple choice questions regarding pain management, medications, food, and professionalism of staff. Employee engagement rounds, however, might include lengthier, open-ended questions.

Along with tailored rounding scripts, it is equally important to have a process in place to resolve any issues that are identified. A robust digital solution might offer customized alerts to be automatically sent to ancillary departments for quick issue resolution.

  1. Staff Training

Improving patient care is only possible when staff is comfortable and confident using the digital rounding tool. When shifting away from paper-based rounds, training is key to ensure that technology doesn’t become a barrier between staff and the patient, and instead, enhances these interactions.

  1. Use Data to Drive Improvements

A digital tool is not the silver bullet to optimal patient care. Staff must actively analyze data to make strategic and lasting changes. The information gathered from rounds enables leadership to validate current initiatives, make informed decisions, and drive continual improvements to care services. 

When a digital rounding solution is chosen carefully and implemented thoughtfully, it leads to culture, satisfaction, and quality improvements across an entire organization. To learn more about digital rounding, download our overview or request a demo of our digital rounding solution, CipherRounds.

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Ranked as the “Best Overall Patient Engagement Company” in MedTech's Breakthrough Awards for 2020, and the top-performing vendor for patient outreach and digital rounding by KLAS in 2019, CipherHealth is a proven technology partner committed to enhancing communication and coordination throughout the patient journey. CipherHealth’s suite of patient engagement software empowers healthcare organizations to foster meaningful connections to ensure the best possible outcomes for staff members, patients, and their loved ones.