Perceptions of Family Participation in Intensive Care Unit Rounds and Telemedicine: A Qualitative Assessment

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Abstract

Background

Family-centered rounds involve purposeful interactions between patients’ families and care providers to refocus the delivery of care on patients’ needs.

Objectives

To examine perspectives of patients’ family members and health care providers on family participation in rounds in the surgical intensive care unit (ICU) and the potential use of telemedicine to facilitate this process.

Methods

Patients’ family members and surgical ICU care providers were recruited for semistructured interviews exploring stakeholders’ perspectives on family participation in ICU rounds and the potential role of telemedicine. Thirty-two interviews were conducted, audio recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Common coding methods were facilitated by using NVivo 10. A mean coding agreement of 97.3% was calculated for 22% of transcripts.

Results

Both patients’ family members and health care providers described inconsistent practices surrounding family participation in ICU rounds as well as barriers to and facilitators of family participation. Family members identified 3 primary logistical challenges to participation in ICU rounds: distance to hospitals, work/family obligations, and the rounding schedule. Both family members and providers reported receptivity to virtual participation as a potential solution to these challenges.

Conclusions

Understanding the barriers to and facilitators of family participation in ICU rounds is key to encouraging adoption of family-centered rounds. For families that live far away or have competing demands, telemedical options may facilitate participation.

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