Research shows that patient safety walk rounds are an appropriate and common method to improve safety culture. This observational study in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety combined walk rounds with observations of specific aspects of patient safety and measured the safety and teamwork climate.
Healthcare workers were observed in specific aspects of patient safety on walk rounds in eight settings in a Swiss hospital. They were also surveyed using safety and teamwork climate scales before the initial walk rounds and six to nine months later. The authors evaluated the implementation of planned improvement actions following the walk rounds.
The authors found that walk rounds with structured in-person observations identified safe care practices and issues in patient safety. However, improvement action plans to address these issues were not fully implemented nine months later, and there were no significant changes in the safety and teamwork climate.