J Patient Exp. 2021 Apr 8;8:23743735211008303. doi: 10.1177/23743735211008303. eCollection 2021.
Hospital medicine ward rounds are often conducted away from patients' bedsides, but it is unknown if more time-at-bedside is associated with improved patient outcomes. Our objective is to measure the association between "time-at-bedside," patient experience, and patient-clinician care agreement during ward rounds. Research assistants directly observed medicine services to quantify the amount of time spent discussing each patient's care inside versus outside the patient's room. "Time-at-bedside" was defined as the proportion of time spent discussing a patient's care in his or her room. Patient experience and patient-clinician care agreement both were measured immediately after ward rounds. Results demonstrated that the majority of patient and physicians completely agreement on planned tests (66.3%), planned procedures (79.7%), medication changes (50.6%), and discharge location (66.9%), but had no agreement on the patient's main concern (74.4%) and discharge date (50.6%). Time-at-bedside was not correlated with care agreement or patient experience (P > .05 for all comparisons). This study demonstrates that spending more time at the bedside during ward rounds, alone, is insufficient to improve patient experience.