Why Hospital Rounding is Still Essential During the COVID-19 Crisis

Doctor or nurse in hospital rounding on patient

The way we measured and approached effective rounding a month ago is no longer optimal during this crisis. However, it’s more important than ever that patients feel supported and that their issues are addressed while they are in the hospital. With so much concern over preserving clinical resources, thoughts of decreasing rounding efforts to alleviate the burden would not be prudent. Rather, we need to focus on ways to make rounding more efficient to address this crisis with strategic focus.

Here are some ways our partners have changed their rounding approaches to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis:

1. Use Telephone Rounding to Minimize Risk of Exposure

With stringent precautions in place to limit visitors, as well as the volume of staff going in and out of patient rooms, hospitals are facing a new challenge in patients feeling more socially isolated. If feasible, calling patients on hospital phones can help connect with patients while maintaining infection control policies and preserving PPE. As with all rounding, the calls should be purposeful and focus on proactive issue resolution and personal connection, something especially important for combating  social isolation.

2. Round on Locations for Infection Control Audits and Surge Preparedness

Regular audits help ensure all infection control procedures and surge protection policies are adhered to. You can update your rounding protocols to “round on locations” and proactively identify any issues. (Download the CDC’s Hospital Preparedness Assessment Tool for recommended protocols.)

3. Support Staff Morale and Engagement

Hospital team members are extremely concerned about their own well-being, as well as that of their patients and families during this time. Connect with staff members one-on-one to listen and address their concerns, review COVID-19 policy changes, and share what the hospital can do to support them.

 4. Keep Track of Visitor Policy

One common change we’ve seen across many organizations has been to visitor policies, from limiting the number of visitors to screening everyone who comes into the hospital. Although these policy changes may be difficult to make, they are necessary for keeping patients and staff safe.


Whether you’re currently using CipherRounds, a different rounding tool, or pen and paper, we hope these tips help your community and staff members adapt.

Download the full document, “Why Rounding is Essential During the COVID-19 Crisis.”

If you would like help implementing any of these tactics, or have any of your own practices that you’d like to share, please contact us or email [email protected].



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