Acad Med. 2022 Jan 11. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000004586. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: To determine if bedside rounds, compared to other forms of hospital ward rounds, improve learning outcomes in medical education.
METHOD: For this systematic review, the authors searched Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, and Scopus from inception through February 20, 2020. Experimental studies were included if they (1) compared bedside rounds to any other form of rounds in a hospital-based setting, and (2) reported a quantitative comparison of a learning outcome (e.g., learner reaction, knowledge, skills, behavior, health care delivery) among physicians in training (medical students, residents, fellows). Extraction elements were summarized using descriptive statistics and a narrative synthesis of design, implementation, and outcomes.
RESULTS: Twenty studies met inclusion criteria, including 7 randomized trials. All studies involved resident physicians, and 11 also involved medical students. The design and implementation of bedside rounds varied widely, with most studies (n = 13) involving cointerventions (e.g., staff education, real-time order entry).Of the 15 studies that reported learner satisfaction, 7 favored bedside rounds, 4 favored the control, and 4 were equivocal. Of the 4 studies reporting an outcome of learners' knowledge and skills, 2 favored bedside rounds and 2 were equivocal. Of the 8 studies that reported on learner behavior (e.g., bedside communication with patients), 5 favored bedside rounds, 1 favored control, and 2 were equivocal. Finally, of the 14 studies that reported a health care delivery outcome (e.g., teamwork, rounding time), 8 favored bedside rounds and 6 were equivocal. Due to the high risk of bias and unexplained heterogeneity across studies, the overall strength of evidence was low.
CONCLUSIONS: In hospital-based settings, learners' satisfaction with bedside rounds is mixed. However, bedside rounds appear to have a positive effect on learner behavior and health care delivery. Given their potential value, additional research is needed to identify barriers to and facilitators of educationally successful bedside rounds.