Secretary Daily Rounding: It Works!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015: 10:20 AM

Courtney Edwards, RN, MSN, CNL
Acute Trauma Care Unit, University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, Birmingham, AL, USA


Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a metric that represents the patient’s perception of quality care received. Data supports that the patient’s experience is linked to great clinical care, reduced medical error, and improved patient outcomes. Each individual patient’s survey results matters. These questions measure frequency on a scale of never, sometimes, usually, and always. Of the six categories, two measure the responsiveness of hospital staff and patient overall satisfaction with care. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the process for incorporating daily secretarial rounds on a trauma and burn unit and its impact on overall patient satisfaction and specifically their perception of staff responsiveness.


With the idea of increasing HCAHPS in patient satisfaction and improving response time in mind, an innovative approach was taken to utilize the front-line staff responsible for answering the call lights, unit secretaries. A review of current literature was completed and best practices identified. The team decided to incorporate daily secretarial rounding as a part of the patient and family-centered care model. Education was provided; a script highlighting key points was developed and distributed to staff. The objectives of the secretarial rounding is to inform the patients on who will be answering their calls, what needs they can and cannot assist with, and to ensure the patients that they will communicate any needs to the nurse that they themselves are not able to address.


HCAHPS scores in responsiveness of staff and patient satisfaction improved. Patients provided positive feedback on how good it was to place a face with the voice on the other end of the call light when they needed assistance. Unit secretaries also provided positive qualitative information on the increased satisfaction they have for their position due to the amount of gratitude the patients shown them as a result of the rounding. The process has been largely accepted on the unit and will move as a standard of care across the organization.


Secretarial rounding can have a positive influence on patient satisfaction because it gives the patients confidence in knowing that staff is doing all they can to provide quality patient-centered care.