Academic Medicine

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Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181dbf741
Educational Innovations

The Schwartz Center Rounds: Evaluation of an Interdisciplinary Approach to Enhancing Patient-Centered Communication, Teamwork, and Provider Support

Lown, Beth A. MD; Manning, Colleen F. MA

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Abstract

Purpose: To assess the impact of Schwartz Center Rounds, an interdisciplinary forum where attendees discuss psychosocial and emotional aspects of patient care. The authors investigated changes in attendees' self-reported behaviors and beliefs about patient care, sense of teamwork, stress, and personal support.

Method: In 2006–2007, researchers conducted retrospective surveys of attendees at six sites offering Schwartz Center Rounds (“the Rounds”) for ≥3 years and prospective surveys of attendees at 10 new Rounds sites that have held ≥7 Rounds.

Results: Most of the retrospective survey respondents indicated that attending Rounds enhanced their likelihood of attending to psychosocial and emotional aspects of care and enhanced their beliefs about the importance of empathy. Respondents reported better teamwork, including heightened appreciation of the roles and contributions of colleagues. There were significant decreases in perceived stress (P < .001) and improvements in the ability to cope with the psychosocial demands of care (P < .05). In the prospective study, after control for presurvey differences, the more Rounds one attended, the greater the impact on postsurvey insights into psychosocial aspects of care and teamwork (both: P < .05). Respondents to both retrospective and prospective surveys described changes in institutional culture and greater focus on patient-centered care and institution-specific initiatives.

Conclusions: Schwartz Center Rounds may foster enhanced communication, teamwork, and provider support. The impact on measured outcomes increased with the number of Rounds attended. The Rounds represent an effective strategy for providing support to health care professionals and for enhancing relationships among them and with their patients.

© 2010 Association of American Medical Colleges

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