Critical Feature Missing from Hospital Digital Rounding Tools


A report from KLAS Research ranks sheds light on these popular tools and how vendors are missing the mark.

Although technology and tools that assist with digital rounding are becoming more popular in hospitals, vendors are still missing the mark on interoperability, according to a report by KLAS Research.

Digital rounding vendors and tools rated in the report include Advisory Board, CipherHealth, GetWellNetwork, Huron Counsulting, TruthPoint, and Vocera. Other vendors described but not rated include Care Experience, Nobi, Press Ganey, and Sentact.

The report found that more than 90% of digital rounding tools are being used by nurses who are visiting patients’ bedsides to assess patient’s status and build rapport with patients. About 60% of digital rounding tools are being used by hospital executives and managers to stay in communication with staff. Similarly, 58% of digital rounding tools are used by hospital executives to build a relationship with patients. More than 40% of tools are used by staff communication with patients’ caregivers.

Better interoperability with other technologies

Though the majority of digital rounding vendors received high performance scores, Colin Buckley, an analyst with KLAS Research, says that the technology still needs to fit better into the hospital work flow. Because rounding has traditionally been recorded on paper, the separate digital or mobile device to record patients’ assessments doesn’t always work seamlessly with EHR systems.

“Rounding solutions today are typically used to manage patient experience rather than for clinical purposes. As a result, when they are connected with other systems it is most often limited to importing basic patient and admission, discharge, and transfer information in order to save users from manual double-entry,” Buckley says. “Rounding tools are usually deployed as web-based or mobile apps so they can be run on a spectrum of devices, from PCs and laptops to smartphones and tablets.”

Better patient satisfaction with digital rounding

With more emphasis on patient satisfaction scores from the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey at healthcare organizations, digital rounding tools can serve as one part of the strategy that nurses and other staff can use to engage better with patients and their caregivers, Buckley says.

KLAS interviewed 65 healthcare CEOs and executives for the report and found that improved patient satisfaction was the most meaningful benefit of using digital rounding tools-immediate feedback from patients and accountability and compliance were also among the tops benefits reported.

“An important trend to be aware of is that best-of-breed rounding solutions are fast becoming part of larger patient engagement solutions suites either through acquisition or partnership,” Buckley says. “As a result, provider rounding tool selection is increasingly based on the value of other products and services being offered by the same vendor, such as interactive patient systems, outreach tools, and consulting services.”

The future of digital rounding tools

Healthcare executives surveyed said that their staff and providers that are currently using digital rounding tools find them simple to use, with standard templates and processes and that it speeds up the process of rounding. However, drawbacks include their lack of integration with other technologies and few reasons to use the tools. Ultimately, the report found that customer-driven improvements to the rounding technology could lead to more complex use cases, analytics and reporting capabilities, and more interoperability with other technologies. 

“Vendors that wish to remain relevant in the future will need to augment their solutions with greater analytics capabilities so that users can mine insights from collected data. Vendors will also need to make their rounding tools more flexible so that users can customize content and reporting without having to make formal change requests,” Buckley says. “New use cases will also drive a need for greater interoperability with EHRs, patient engagement tools and data warehouses, to name just a few.”

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