At Memorial Hermann Hospital, Family Members are Included in Rounds

This improvement story originally appeared in IHI's 2006 Progress Report.
At Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, the primary teaching hospital for the University of Texas Medical School and a member of IHI’s IMPACT network, patient-centeredness takes many forms.
For example, family members were once barred from the Shock Trauma ICU during rounds. But that has changed, says Lynn Maguire, RN, MSN, CNA, Administrative Director of Trauma, Transplant and General Surgery Services. “We had a waiting room full of people who wanted to know exactly what we were discussing.” Now, family members stay during rounds, which not only provides them with the most complete and current information about their patient, but also saves physicians time they would spend later talking with the family.
Family members are not simply bystanders, says Maguire. “We teach them how to do small things like oral care. It helps prepare them for the caretaker role later on.”
On the neuro trauma ICU, a series of patient/family interviews has helped caregivers learn how to communicate more effectively with patients and families, many of whom are overwhelmed by a sudden trauma. “It’s been especially valuable for the doctors,” says Audrey Fiske, RN, MBA, CPHQ, Administrative Director of Neuro Sciences. “They have learned how they sound to a frightened family member. They are learning when to provide more information, when to go over something again, when to take a break.”
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