THE IDEA OF family-centered rounds gets a lot of support from clinicians in pediatric
hospitals, but a new study shows that not everyone practices what they preach. A study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine surveyed physicians, nurses and the family members of patients at 21 teaching hospitals. Most of the respondents were from general pediatric units or children’s hospitals.
While most physicians said they generally support the idea of the rounds, the study found that no single element of family-centered founds was used often or always by more than 82% of respondents.
Additionally, while 88% of clinicians said that family participation in rounds was important on rounds, for example, only 68% said family participation often or always happened. And among clinicians who don’t think family participation is particularly important, family participation occurred during patient interactions often or always only 41% of the time.
Overall, researchers found, the key elements of family-centered rounds took place in 23% to 70% of patient encounters.
The study showed that residents were on the low end of support for family-centered rounds. While 93% of nurses and 91% of attendings said that family-centered rounds were very or extremely important, for example, only 79% of residents felt that way.
Residents were three times less likely than nurses or attendings to say that family participation in rounds is important. Residents rated individual elements of family- centered rounds such as nurse participation, use of plain language, and making sure patients and family members understand what’s going on as less important than other clinicians.
Researchers speculated that residents may be less supportive of family-centered rounds because they’re hyper-focused on learning the science of medicine more than the interpersonal dimensions of patient care. The study also said that residents’ reduced appreciation of family-centered rounds could come from cognitive overload or burnout.
Family-centered rounds were recommended in 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care. Experts say that involving patients and family members in clinical decision-making leads to less
miscommunication and improved patient satisfaction.