Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Ward rounds: the next focus for quality improvement?

Owen M. Bradfield

PO Box 2085, Preston, VIC 3072, Australia. Email:

Australian Health Review 34(2) 193-196
Submitted: 17 June 2009  Accepted: 9 February 2010   Published: 25 May 2010


The Garling Report, published in November 2008, was a public inquiry into the provision and governance of Acute Care Services in New South Wales Public Hospitals. Garling’s 139 recommendations, aimed at modernising clinical care and equipment, include better supervision of junior staff, multidisciplinary teamwork, structured clinical handover and improved culture within health services. Garling also made specific recommendations about ward rounds, arguing that they should be daily, supervised and multidisciplinary. Given the importance of ward rounds in planning and evaluating treatment, implementation of these recommendations will require further evidence, engagement of senior clinicians and cultural change. This article discusses some of the barriers to Garling’s recommendations.


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