Background: Physicians are required to provide safe, effective, and high-quality care that is patient-centered. Continuing to meet the educational needs of residents and medical students in the setting of patient-centered care will require developing new models for hospital "work rounds." Family-centered rounds is a model of communicating and learning between the patient, family, medical professionals, and students on an academic, inpatient ward setting. Unfortunately, in the medical literature, there is no consensus on the definition of family-centered rounds.
Summary: Despite the increased utilization of hospitalists and the recognition that bedside teaching has many benefits, bedside rounds are underutilized. In this article, we present a description of family-centered rounds that is supported by a review of the literature on bedside teaching, family-centered care, and interdisciplinary care. The key difference between family-centered rounds and traditional bedside teaching is the active participation of the patient and family in the discussion. Interdisciplinary care implies that professionals from a variety of disciplines work collaboratively to develop a unified care plan. Family-centered rounding provides an interface between families and medical professionals that allows education of medical students and residents as well as the development of a unified care plan.
Conclusions: Family-centered rounds hold potential to create a patient-centered environment, enhance medical education, and improve patient outcomes. The model is a planned, purposeful interaction that requires the permission of patients and families as well as the cooperation of physicians, nurses, and ancillary staff.