Study: Barriers still exist to including families in rounds at pediatric wards

Despite an increased push by many pediatric wards in the U.S. for doctors to conduct rounds in a more family-oriented manner, barriers to fully implementing such a system--including worries about patient confidentiality--remain, a new study that will be published this week in the journal Pediatrics finds, according to Reuters

Of the 265 pediatric-ward hospitalists surveyed for the study, 44 percent were found to be currently conducting family-centered rounds, with the remaining 56 percent of attending physicians conducting rounds without the input of family members. Other than reduced patient confidentiality, reasons for not conducting rounds in such a manner ranged from the size of patient rooms being too small to fit both a team of doctors and a family, to doctors-in-training fearing for their reputations if they weren't as knowledgeable about a particular case. 

Roughly 33 percent of those surveyed also felt that conducting family-centered rounds would take too much time, due mainly to parents' questions. Of the respondents who chose to conduct rounds in such a manner, none said that the time increased dramatically. 

Dr. Vineeta Mittal, the study's lead author from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, told Reuters that it was a good sign that such a significant percentage of wards were even using such a practice. 

"There are still barriers, but I think we are identifying them and finding ways to address them," she told the news service. 

To learn more:
- read this Reuters report