Electronic Printed Ward Round Proformas: Freeing Up Doctors' Time
- Correspondence to Darren Fernandes
- Received 11 November 2016
- Revision requested 13 December 2016
- Revised 6 January 2017
- Published 20 March 2017
The role of a junior doctor involves preparing for the morning ward round. At a time when there are gaps on rotas and doctors' time is more stretched, this can be a source of significant delay and thus a loss of working time. We therefore looked at ways in which we could make the ward round a more efficient place by introducing specific electronic, printed ward round proformas. We used the average time taken to write proformas per patient and the average time taken per patient on the ward round. This would then enable us to make fair comparisons with future changes that were made using the plan, do, study, and act principles of quality improvement. Our baseline measurement found that the average time taken to write up the proforma for each patient was 1 minute 9 seconds and that the average time taken per patient on the ward round was 8 minutes 30 seconds. With the changes we made during our 3 PDSA cycles and the implementation of an electronic, printed ward round proforma, we found that we were able to reduce the average time spent per patient on the ward round to 6 minutes 32 seconds, an improvement of 1 min 58 seconds per patient. The project has thus enabled us to reduce the time taken per patient during the ward round. This improved efficiency will enable patients to be identified earlier for discharge. It will also aid in freeing up the time of junior doctors, allowing them to complete discharge letters sooner, order investigations earlier and enable them to complete their allocated tasks within contracted hours.
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