PAs reduce rounding interruptions in the pediatric intensive care unit

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We investigated the proportion of encounters that were interrupted during family-centered rounds in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to determine whether the use of a physician assistant (PA) significantly affected the proportion of interrupted encounters.


We evaluated 2,657 rounding encounters in our 24-bed regional referral unit. The duration of each rounding encounter and total rounding duration were recorded. The presence or absence of a PA during each rounding encounter, the occurrence of an interruption, and other potential predictors of interruptions were recorded.


The presence of a PA during PICU rounds was significantly associated (P < .001) with a 35.4% lower likelihood of an interruption.


Family-centered rounds in the PICU are less likely to be interrupted when a PA is present. PAs help physicians and improve rounding efficiency by safely and effectively handling certain interruptions.

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