Letters To The Editor

The Authors Reply, “What Can Be Done to Maintain Positive Patient Experience and Improve Residents’ Satisfaction?” and “Standardized Attending Rounds to Improve the Patient Experience: A Pragmatic Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial”

© 2017 Society of Hospital Medicine

We thank Talari et al. for their comments in response to our randomized controlled trial evaluating the impact of standardized rounds on patient, attending, and trainee satisfaction. We agree that many factors beyond rounding structure contribute to resident satisfaction, including those highlighted by the authors, and would enthusiastically welcome additional research in this realm.

Because our study intervention addressed rounding structure, we elected to specifically focus on satisfaction with rounds, both from the physician and patient perspectives. We chose to ask about patient satisfaction with attending rounds, as opposed to more generic measures of patient satisfaction, to allow for more direct comparison between attending/resident responses and patient responses. Certainly, there are many other factors that affect overall patient experience. Surveys such as Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and Press Ganey do not specifically address rounds, are often completed several weeks following hospitalization, and may have low response rates. Relying on such global assessments of patient experience may also reduce the power of the study. Although patient responses to our survey may be higher than scores seen with HCAHPS and Press Ganey, the randomized nature of our study helps control for other differences in the hospitalization experience unrelated to rounding structure. Similarly, because physician teams were randomly assigned, differences in census were not a major factor in the study. Physician blinding was not possible due to the nature of the intervention, which may have affected the satisfaction reports from attendings and residents. For our primary outcome (patient satisfaction with rounds), patients were blinded to the nature of our intervention, and all study team members involved in data collection and statistical analyses were blinded to study arm allocation.

In summary, we feel that evaluating the trade-offs and consequences of interventions should be examined from multiple perspectives, and we welcome additional investigations in this area.

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