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Senior Leader Rounding on Physicians – Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast

September 9, 2021

PRC teamed up with our Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) partners for this week’s episode of Healthcare Experience Matters, exploring the importance of senior leader rounding on physicians and providers with HXF co-founder and president, Katie Owens.

Katie makes a strong argument in favor of why senior leader rounding should become (or remain) a top priority. When rounding on physicians is neglected, the costs of disengagement and burnout are just too serious to ignore.

“Trust is the foundation of all relationships,” Katie told us.

The Right Way

When senior leader rounding on physicians is done the right way, a rapport that bridges gaps to create better cohesion and teamwork is formed. When it is done effectively and consistently, it builds trust and strengthens relationships.

There is a huge opportunity for organizations to support physician recruitment and retention through properly conducted senior leader rounding practices. And on the flip side, the consequences of not having our physician’s engaged are serious.

“Senior leader rounding is an effective practice to improve the overall climate and helps start to tackle these risks of disengagement and turnover,” Katie told us.

As we learn on today’s podcast, there are many ways to conduct senior rounding on physicians. Unfortunately, many senior rounds tend to happen in silos, are strictly focused on solving problems, or exist only to comply with regulatory demands.

Best Senior Leader Rounding Practices

Rounding will always be a good solution, but there are some ways to conduct it that are simply more effective than engaging in it for the dubious value of simply “checking a box.”

As Katie explains, there are best practices in senior leader rounding that will give us the “best bang for our buck” in terms of the time and resources we invest in this critical practice.

When senior leader rounding is purposeful it demonstrates leadership alignment. Results should be shared so that accountability is factored in, and follow-up action gets scheduled.

Senior leader rounding should be part of a larger executive visibility strategy and engage the entire medical staff. It should also be regularly scheduled and personalized. Here are five more tips to help ensure your organization’s senior leader rounding is planned effectively:

  • Determine quarterly communication focus with the senior team.
  • Set calendars so departments will know it is coming.
  • Schedule senior leader rounding with the department director/chair/service line leader.
  • Ask for (and review) the department scouting report.
  • Hold a pre-huddle meeting to communicate with leaders.

Difficult Conversations

Towards the end of today’s podcast, Katie provides us with some great advice on starting tough conversations with personnel and staff.

“It’s really imperative to be cohesive and to practice for the tough questions,” she told us.

If you’re ready to start having some difficult conversations, here are some helpful thoughts to consider:

  • Share physician experience survey goals, results, and comments.
  • Listen without being defensive.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Discuss priorities and share your commitment to physician partnerships.
  • Express gratitude.
  • Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sorry” and “we can do better.”

Learn More

Make sure to listen to today’s podcast through the podcast player embedded below to learn more about best practices for senior leader rounding.