Family centred ward rounds

A study highlighted that the attending physicians talk outside the room as much as or more than they do inside the room.

“It is frustrating to hear the team speaking about you in the hallway before they come in and wondering what they are saying. Then, after they leave the room, they continue to have discussions in the hallway, where we can hear pieces and parts but not all of the discussion.

“We would prefer that all discussion happen in the room with the nurses and the family present.”

The nurses are the ones who have spent the most time with the family, and they have a lot of information to offer. However, the study highlighted that the nurse does not have much of an opportunity to speak during the rounds.

Sometimes, the entire rounds process is effectively over by the time the medical team comes into the room, and rounds are more of a procedural event than a discussion.

Other comments from one family:

  • It would be nice if all physicians involved in the care could participate in the family-centered rounds experience, even if some need to be on the phone. Many times, the rounding process happens but then we are left with a statement that they will wait until the other doctors come by to make a decision. This not only prolongs the decisions but also splinters the care that the concept of family-centered rounds is trying to improve.
  • We appreciate when the medical teams sit down in the room with us. It makes us feel as if we are having a discussion where everyone is invited to participate instead of a group of people standing over us. This style of communication seems to engage the patient and family in honest, open conversation, and it seems to cause the team to slow down enough to listen to our story.
  • It would be nice to have some idea of when they are coming to the room because it seems that no matter what we do, the team comes in when one of us has run to the cafeteria to get breakfast or to take a phone call in the lobby.
[Sarah Pickel, Mark W. Shen, Collin Hovinga.  Hospital Pediatrics  Jul 2016,  6  (7)  387-393;  DOI: 10.1542/hpeds.2015-0136]

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