Better Teamwork when Doctors Discuss Cases

BOSTON, July 12 (UPI) — A program giving physicians the opportunity to discuss complex psychosocial factors in their medical cases resulted in better teamwork, U.S. researchers say.

A program of the Schwartz Center in Boston, called Rounds, facilitates discussions at 195 healthcare facilities in 31 states, providing a confidential forum for sharing job-related experiences, fears, dilemmas, joys and concerns, researchers said.

In a study published in Academic Medicine, researchers led by Dr. Beth Lown of Mt. Auburn Hospital and Harvard Medical School report Schwartz Center Rounds improve clinical and functional status of patients as well as patient trust. Malpractice suits were reduced and there was greater appreciation of teamwork and of how illness affects the lives of patients and their families.

“The Rounds foster deeper, more meaningful relationships with patients, yielding significant benefits for everyone involved,” Lown says in a statement.”The finding that the Rounds encourage better teamwork should be very intriguing to anyone interested in care quality because collaboration plays an important role in the causation and prevention of adverse events.”

Lown and colleagues conducted retrospective surveys of attendees at six sites offering Schwartz Center Rounds for at least 3 years and prospective surveys of attendees at 10 Rounds sites before the program began and after at least seven Rounds sessions were conducted.

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