Family members frequently function as surrogate decision-makers in critical care settings. This role requires family to establish satisfactory communication with clinicians.
Posthospital patient satisfaction with communication scores were lower than desired. Investigators assumed family member satisfaction with communication could influence patient satisfaction scores.
Including family members in multidisciplinary daily clinical rounds was implemented in a 22-bed neurointensive care unit (ICU). Family members who attended rounds were compared with those who did not. Changes in clinician time devoted to rounding were measured.
The intervention increased time devoted to clinical rounds by 4 minutes per patient on average. Rounding dose correlated positively while depression correlated negatively with family satisfaction with communication. No harm, such as family member agitation, anxiety, or complaints, was found.
Including family in rounding in the ICU appears safe and can improve family satisfaction with communication, but whether it influences patient satisfaction remains an open question.