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Involving family in medical rounds benefits both family and medical team
Date:11/24/2009

harmacology at the IU School of Medicine and a Riley Hospital oncologist, who conducted the study and published its results in the November 2009 issue of Academic Medicine.

"The importance of the family's involvement in caring for children with cancer and blood disorders is as tremendous as the need to successfully educate our medical students and residents about the value of effective communication and family-centered care. Despite initial reluctance from fellows and nurses, having family members join in rounds was hugely successful and improved the standard of care," said Dr. Knoderer, who is a member of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

Each weekday morning, patients' families are given the opportunity to sign up to attend sit-down team rounds when their child's case is discussed. Participation is voluntary, and family members can both ask questions and offer input. Together, medical students, residents, fellows, family members, and the attending physician formulate the treatment plan for that day. "Doctors are the medical experts, but the parents are the expert on their child. Treating parents as valued team members not only increases family satisfaction but improves care," says Dr. Knoderer.

"An unexpected benefit of the new style of rounds was that parents were less distracted in team rounds than at the bedside. In the child's room, parents and physicians often balance a ringing phone, computers, television/video games, a demanding sibling or a patient request. We observed that parents sitting in rounds were more focused and often came with a list of specific questions or concerns. Because the family understood that they had limited time in team rounds, they were more focused," wrote Dr. Knoderer. Additionally, parents were no longer afraid to leave their child's room in fear that they would miss an opportunity to talk with the attending physician.

The presence of family members in team roun
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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