As a healthcare provider, you pride yourself on giving patients the best possible medical attention and care whenever they are in your hospital. Medical rounds are an essential component of excellent patient care, as they form the cornerstone of your interaction with your patients and the treatments provided.

Often during rounds, the physician and other care providers will bring a hospital cart on wheels with them to the patient rooms as they round. This hospital cart serves as the gathering location for those who round, as well as the place where patient charts or the computer with electronic health records is located.

Patient Rounds

When we think of medical rounds, we usually think of medical doctors or osteopathic doctors and specialized physicians such as gastroenterologists, neurologists, cardiologists, and pediatricians. However, other professionals such as nurse practitioners must complete their own rounds as well.

If you work in a collaborative practice healthcare setting, your rounds may include the participation of others such as registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, registered dieticians, social workers, and any number of other allied health professionals.

When you make your rounds, students residences may also accompany you.

In most acute care settings in a hospital, health care providers will make their rounds at least once a day, if not more.

What Happens During Rounds

During your rounds, the hospital cart plays a vital role. The cart usually has a computer which you use to, among other things, access the patient’s charts, review his records, and scan any notes made by the nursing staff.

You can use the computer to review medications, make prescriptions, and record notes.

After seeing the patient, you once again will likely need your hospital cart on wheels and the computer to complete documentation of your assessment of the patient and make changes to the plan of care and annotate information about any changes in medications.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the hospital cart is at the center of the entire process of a physician making his or her rounds.

A computer on a cart connected to the hospital network helps minimize the risk of making errors. The most up-to-date information is instantly available to any member of the healthcare team.

Having the best possible medical cart set-up is essential to ensuring your medical rounds are done in the most efficient way possible.