Ward rounds, participants, roles and perceptions: literature review

Victoria Walton*, Anne Hogden, Julie Johnson, David Greenfield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to classify and describe the purpose of ward rounds, who attends each round and their role, and participants’ perception of each other’s role during the respective ward rounds. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review of face-to-face ward rounds in medical wards was conducted. Peer reviewed journals and government publications published between 2000 and 2014 were searched. Articles were classified according to the type of round described in the study. Purposes were identified using keywords in the description of why the round was carried out. Descriptions of tasks and interactions with team members defined participant roles. Findings – Eight round classifications were identified. The most common were the generalised ward; multidisciplinary; and consultant rounds. Multidisciplinary rounds were the most collaborative round. Medical officers were the most likely discipline to attend any round. There was limited reference to allied health clinicians and patient involvement on rounds. Perceptions attendees held of each other reiterated the need to continue to investigate teamwork. Practical implications – A collaborative approach to care planning can occur by ensuring clinicians and patients are aware of different ward round processes and their role in them. Originality/value – Analysis fulfils a gap in the literature by identifying and analysing the different ward rounds being undertaken in acute medical wards. It identifies the complexities in the long established routine hospital processes of the ward round.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-379
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 9 2016


  • Multidisciplinary ward rounds
  • Patient centredness
  • Patient-centred rounds
  • Ward rounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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