Grant Application

Jennifer Corbelli, MD, MS, Division of General Internal Medicine Patient Experiences Committee

Proposed Innovation

Prior studies have shown that when hospitalists rounding alone sit at the bedside, patients rate their communication skills significantly higher than when those same physicians stand. This project aims to assess whether this benefit exists when medical and surgical residents (who round in teams with other trainees) sit at the bedside.

Improvements in Action

During this innovative project, medical and surgical residents at UPMC Montefiore and UPMC Presbyterian will be randomized to either sit or stand over alternating weeks. While not all team members will be able to sit, the resident who is the team leader and does the most direct communication with the patient will sit at the bedside when speaking with the patient.  Satisfaction surveys of randomly selected patients will be conducted during the study time period. Folding chairs will be purchased to ensure participating residents have a place to sit when they enter a patient’s room.


The goal of the project is to assess the impact of sitting at the bedside on patients’ perception of the residents’ communication skills. The overall aim is to:

  • Improve patient-doctor communication as measured by increased patient satisfaction surveys
  • Improve the patient experience during their inpatient admission as measured by HCAHPS scores
  • Assess the impact of sitting at the bedside on total time spent rounding
  • Assess residents’ perceptions of the impact of sitting at the bedside

The project team plans to develop a “Best Practices Guide” for sitting at the bedside to share across UPMC with physicians, nursing leaders, unit directors, case managers, and others who make hospital rounds.