FRIDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Including families of
hospitalized children in discussions during medical rounds improves
doctor-family communication and benefits medical trainees, a new
Traditionally, medical professionals on rounds left a patient's
room to discuss the person's condition and care, and then returned
to the room to talk with the patient and his or her family. This
study found that having these discussions in a pediatric patient's
room with the family present (a practice known as family-centered
rounds) is becoming more common, particularly in hospitals with
large numbers of medical trainees.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas reviewed
information from a 2007 survey of 265 pediatric hospitalists
(physicians whose focus is caring for children) in the United
States and Canada.
The 44 percent of respondents who took part in family-centered
rounds said this method of doing rounds offered a number of
benefits, including increased family involvement in patient care;
better role modeling for medical trainees; increased parental
understanding of hospital discharge goals; and improved medical
Problems included trainees' fear of not appearing knowledgeable
in front of patients and families, and lack of space in patients'
"We see a lot of complex patients who require coordination of care," study author Dr. Vineeta Mittal, an assistant professor of pediatrics, said in a UT Southwestern Medical Center news release. "With family-centered rounds, everybody's hearing the same discussion at the same time, and everybody is on the same page -- including the family. There are so many benefits that it doesn't make sense to not conduct family-centered rounds."
The study is published online and in the July print issue of the
The Nemours Foundation offers parents resources about
children's hospital stays and doctor visits.