Public Release: 

Study shows time of hospital rounds for postpartum women impacts patient satisfaction

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

ATLANTA (Feb. 1, 2016)--In a study to be presented on Feb. 6 at 8:45 a.m. EST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, in Atlanta, researchers will present findings from a study titled, Routine versus delayed timing of morning hospital rounds for postpartum women on patient satisfaction: A randomized quality improvement trial.

While it is convenient for physicians to have early morning hospital rounds so that they can handle other clinical duties including seeing patients in-office, it is not always convenient for postpartum hospital patients who often face sleep disruption and inadequate communication.

The study looked at 152 women with similar maternal demographics and clinical characteristics, except that delivery mode differed. More women had cesarean delivery in the routine. The women were all under the care of a university-based obstetrics/gynecology faculty practice and delivered at a tertiary care medical center. They were randomly allocated to either routine rounding (4-7 a.m.) or delayed physician rounding (after 8 a.m.) from postpartum day one until discharge. Women with medical conditions or delivery complications that precluded the ability to delay rounding were excluded. On day of discharge, research staff blinded to rounding group distributed a standardized survey that included questions regarding physician communication and hospital experience.

The result was that postpartum women who received delayed physician rounding were more satisfied with physician communication and overall hospital experience without prolonging their hospital stay or time of discharge.

"This simple study indicates that physicians should be more cognizant of the hours they perform their rounds with healthy postpartum patients," stated Robyn P. Roberts, M.D. Roberts, with the University of Texas Medical School at Houston was researcher on the study and will present the study this week at the SMFM annual meeting. "By just moving rounds later in the morning, patient satisfaction can be significantly improved," added Roberts.

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A copy of the abstract is available at http://www.smfmnewsroom.org and below. For interviews please contact Vicki Bendure at Vicki@bendurepr.com 202-374-9259 (cell).

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (est. 1977) is the premiere membership organization for obstetricians/gynecologists who have additional formal education and training in maternal-fetal medicine. The society is devoted to reducing high-risk pregnancy complications by sharing expertise through continuing education to its 2,000 members on the latest pregnancy assessment and treatment methods. It also serves as an advocate for improving public policy, and expanding research funding and opportunities for maternal-fetal medicine. The group hosts an annual meeting in which groundbreaking new ideas and research in the area of maternal-fetal medicine are shared and discussed. For more information visit http://www.smfm.org.

Abstract 84: Routine versus delayed timing of morning hospital rounds for postpartum women on patient satisfaction: A randomized quality improvement trial

Authors: Robyn P. Roberts1, Sean C. Blackwell1, Kelly M. Brown1, Baha M. Sibai1, Jon E. Tyson1
1UT Health-University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX

Objective: Early morning physician rounding is a part of traditional hospital culture. Benefits include early patient discharge as well as physician convenience to begin other clinical duties. Potential disadvantages include inadequate communication and sleep disruption. The objective of this study was to determine whether timing of physician rounding of postpartum women impacts patient satisfaction.

Study Design: Women under the care of a university-based OB/GYN faculty practice who delivered at a tertiary care medical center were randomly allocated to either routine rounding (4 - 7am) or delayed physician rounding (after 8 am) from postpartum day 1 until discharge. Women with medical conditions or delivery complications that precluded the ability to delay rounding were excluded. On day of discharge, research staff blinded to rounding group distributed a standardized survey that included questions regarding physician communication and hospital experience. Based on delivery volumes, we planned to conduct the study over a pre-defined two month period. We estimated that the study would require 74 total subjects (N=37 per group) to detect a 20% difference in overall rating of the hospital (0-10 score) between groups (assumption P=0.05 and power 90%).

Results: 152 women participated in the study (N= 76 routine rounding; N= 76 delayed rounding). Maternal demographics and clinical characteristics were similar between groups except for delivery mode. More women had cesarean delivery in the routine compared to delayed rounding group (47.4% vs. 22.4%). Patient satisfaction scores were improved not only for quality of physician communication, but also for hospital experience and overall hospital rating (see Table). Adjustment for delivery mode with linear regression did not alter the findings (p < 0.001). There were no differences between groups in timing of maternal discharge occurring after 10 am (25% routine vs. 30.3% delayed; p=0.47) or timing of neonatal discharge after 10 am, 94.7% vs. 90.8% (p=0.35).

Conclusion: Postpartum women who received delayed physician rounding were more satisfied with physician communication and overall hospital experience without prolonging their hospital stay or time of discharge.

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