Families' Perception of the Value of Timed Daily "Family Rounds" in a Trauma ICU

Mangram, Alicia J.; McCauley, T.; Villarreal, D.; Berne, J.; Howard, D.; Dolly, A.; Norwood, S.
October 2005
American Surgeon;Oct2005, Vol. 71 Issue 10, p886
Academic Journal
Daily communications between the ICU trauma patients' families and the trauma team are often limited due to the unpredictable nature of subsequent patient admissions and operative procedures. In order to improve the lines of family-physician communication and educate residents regarding family communication, our level I trauma center instituted daily "Family Rounds" (FR). FR occur at the same time every day, in the patient's ICU room. The purpose of this study was to determine whether families valued the scheduled daily FR, to establish whether FR improved the family-physician relationship, and to delineate strengths and weaknesses of the present structure of our FR. We mailed surveys to family members of trauma patients hospitalized in the trauma ICU for ≥3 days. A total of 55 (22%) families responded. Combining "excellent" and "good" responses, 86.5 per cent of families looked forward to having a specific time of day to meet with the trauma team, and 90 per cent liked having rounds in the ICU room with the patient. However, 36 per cent did not like having only scheduled time for FR. The majority, 75 per cent, believed that all concerns were addressed during FR, and 84.9 per cent rated their overall experience as either excellent or good. Scheduled FR appear to improve communication between trauma surgeons and patients' families, enhance the family-physician relationship, and strengthen our surgical residency teaching program.


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