Leadership rounds to reduce health care–associated infections

Published:November 02, 2017DOI:


      Evidence-based guidelines exist to reduce health care–associated infections (HAIs). Leadership rounds are one tool leaders can use to ensure compliance with guidelines, but have not been studied specifically for the reduction of HAIs. This study examines HAI leadership rounds at one facility.


      We explored unit-based HAI leadership rounds led by 2 hospital leaders at a large academic hospital. Leadership rounds were observed on 19 units, recorded, and coded to identify themes. Themes were linked to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research and used to guide interviews with frontline staff members.


      Staff members disclosed unit-specific problems and readily engaged in problem-solving with top hospital leaders. These themes appeared over 350 times within 22 rounds. Findings revealed that leaders used words that demonstrated fallibility and modeled curiosity, 2 factors associated with learning climate and psychologic safety. These 2 themes appeared 115 and 142 times, respectively. The flexible nature of the rounds appeared to be conducive for reflection and evaluation, which was coded 161 times.


      Each interaction between leaders and frontline staff can foster psychologic safety, which can lead to open problem-solving to reduce barriers to implementation. Discovering specific communication and structural factors that contribute to psychologic safety may be powerful in reducing HAIs.

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