Virtual Multidisciplinary Rounds to Reduce Length of Stay, Decrease Variation, and Promote Accountability

Link to article at PubMed

Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023 Apr 23:S1553-7250(23)00113-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjq.2023.04.006. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Evidence suggests in-person multidisciplinary rounds can help reduce length of stay (LOS) and improve throughput, but there are limited studies about the effectiveness of virtual multidisciplinary rounds on these measures. The authors hypothesized that virtual multidisciplinary rounds could help reduce LOS, improve throughput, promote accountability, and reduce provider variation.

METHODS: The research team designed and implemented virtual multidisciplinary rounds by a phone conference call with key stakeholders, including hospitalists, case managers, the clinical documentation improvement team, physical and occupational therapy, and nursing leaders. To track progress in real time, dashboards were created using data from electronic medical records. After several months, unit-based discharge huddles were also implemented to supplement the process and sustain the improvement.

RESULTS: The interventions led to more than 60% of discharges below geometric mean LOS after starting the initiative, compared to approximately 52% before the initiative. Mean observation hours went from around 44 hours to 31.9 hours, and the change was sustained for more than a year. In fiscal year 2021, 3,813 excess days were reduced in 10 months, resulting in combined savings of $6.7 million. A decrease in hospitalist provider variation is noted with the initiative, which is a crucial contributor to the results.

CONCLUSION: Virtual multidisciplinary rounds combined with other interventions can effectively reduce LOS and observation hours. Decreasing variation among hospitalists and improved key stakeholder engagement can be achieved with virtual multidisciplinary rounds. More studies to test the effectiveness of virtual multidisciplinary rounds in various patient care settings would provide more insights.

PMID:37193611 | DOI:10.1016/j.jcjq.2023.04.006

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