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Health Spotlight: Family-centered rounding reduces medical mistakes

Family centered rounding reduces medical mistakes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In a surprising healthcare revelation, some hospitals have found that life-saving solutions don’t always come from the latest technology or costly equipment. Now, a simple shift in how doctors conduct their rounds is making a monumental difference in patient care and, more importantly, saving lives.

Outside the hospital room of Allison’s eight-year-old daughter, a team of medical experts is working on a treatment plan.

But Allison knows when it comes to her daughter, she is the expert, and at Primary Children’s Hospital, she is treated like one.

“They weren’t just coming to me and telling everything they were going to do, we were making a plan together, like, ‘this is what we can offer, this is what we can do, what do you think? How will this work best for her?’ and it just has been, I didn’t know that hospitals could work like this and I love it.”

“We’re really able to engage our families and our parents. Who knows a child best than their family?” said Dr. Irene Kocolas, a physician at the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics.

The traditional way of patient care often left parents in the dark, their input overlooked or ignored by the medical team, but family-centered rounding is reshaping how medical teams communicate with families – planning with them instead of for them. Such a simple change is redefining patient care.

“When we’re all working together, when we’re taking the parent, the nurse and the physician team, not only do we feel like we have better communication, we decrease our errors,” said Kocolas.

“I feel like I’m with family that are all taking care of me,” Allison said. “I feel like I can trust them and I can open my mouth about anything on my mind and they will listen and see what they can do about it.”

A recent study found a 38% decrease in preventable medical errors when family-centered rounding was implemented.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.