HM19: Interprofessional rounds

Better process, outcomes


Session presenters

Surekha Bhamidipati, MD, FACP; Preetham Talari, MD, FACP, SFHM; Mark V. Williams, MD, FACP, MHM

Session title

Interprofessional rounds: What’s the right way?

Session summary

Interprofessional or multidisciplinary rounds involve all members of the care delivery team, including physicians, nurses, case managers, social workers, pharmacists, nurse facilitators, and of course, patients. The primary goal for these rounds is patient-centered care, and to improve communication among the health care team members, as well as with patients and their families.

At HM19, Dr. Preetham Talari and Dr. Mark Williams of the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Surekha Bhamidipati of Christiana Care Health System in Newark, Del., discussed their system-based efforts to try to implement interprofessional rounds, and the role of these rounds in improving patient outcome measures.

The presenters noted that the purpose of these rounds is effective communication and efficient patient care. As shown by multiple studies, there is significant impact in team member satisfaction, decrease in length of stay,1 reduction in adverse events2 and improvement in patient experience.3 They emphasized the importance of implementing these rounds at the bedside, so that patients and families can be engaged in the patient’s care, thereby improving closed communication among the team and the patient. These rounds always offer an opportunity for the patient to ask questions of multiple health care team members as they are gathered together at the same time.

Dr. Venkatrao Medarametla, medical director, Intermediate Care Unit, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass., and assistant professor of medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Dr. Venkatrao Medarametla

The University of Kentucky named these rounds the “Interprofessional Teamwork Innovation Model (ITIM),” to promote communication and patient-centered coordinated care. Their model showed a significant reduction in readmission rates, and no increase in costs despite adding pharmacy and case managers to the rounds.

Dr. Bhamidipati described how Christiana Care Health System designed multidisciplinary rounds based on the application of Team STEPPS 2.0, a teamwork system developed by the Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to improve the institutional collaboration and communication relating to patient safety.

Dr. Nageshwar Jonnalagadda, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass.

Dr. Nageshwar Jonnalagadda

The Christiana Care model is based on a few principles of team structure, communication, leadership, situation monitoring, and mutual support. The interprofessional team was trained and observed, and a short video recording was made. This video was used as an educational tool in coaching the rest of the team. Dr. Bhamidipati described the importance of interprofessional leaders as coaches to train other team members, and highlighted the engagement of unit leaders in successfully implementing these rounds. The Christiana Care team used its informational technology system to collect real-time data, which was then used for team review.

In summary, the presenters from both the University of Kentucky and Christiana Care highlighted the importance of interprofessional rounds, as well as the need for continued measurement of process and outcome metrics.

Dr. Jonnalagadda is a physician advisor, and Dr. Medarametla is medical director, Hospital Medicine, at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass.


1. Yoo JW et al. Effects of an internal medicine floor interdisciplinary team on hospital and clinical outcomes of seniors with acute medical illness. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2013 Oct;13(4):942-8. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12035. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

2. O’Leary KJ et al. Structured interdisciplinary rounds in a medical teaching unit: improving patient safety. Arch Intern Med. 2011 Apr 11;171(7):678-84. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.128.

3. Ratelle JT et al. Implementing bedside rounds to improve patient-centred outcomes: a systematic review. BMJ Qual Saf. 2019;28:317-326.

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