Bedside Rounds Valued But Not Preferred: Perceptions of Internal Medicine Residents and Attending Physicians in a Diverse Academic Training Program

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Abstract

Objectives

Bedside rounds/rounding (BDR) is an important tool for patient-centered care and trainee education. This study aimed at understanding the attitudes toward BDR among residents and attending physicians.

Methods

A survey was conducted using the Qualtrics survey tool. Responses were measured using a five-point Likert scale.

Results

The survey was sent to 301 attending physicians and 195 residents. Attending physicians conducted BDR 19% of the time. The preferred mode of rounding for residents was hallway and/or conference room rounding (67%). The major barriers to BDR were concern for causing confusion in or alarm to patients (attending physicians 49%, residents 77%) and prolongation of rounds (attending physicians 47%, residents 72%). The major advantages to BDR were increased likelihood of using patient-friendly language (attending physicians 84%, residents 69%) and the potential to improve trainees’ oral presentations and physical examination skills (attending physicians 71%, residents 54%). Attending physicians reported having adequate skills to conduct BDR (95%) and potential opportunity to be better teachers with this mode of rounding (69%). Residents reported having some previous experience with BDR (46%) and agreed that BDR is an important skill for residents (62%). Only 34% of residents agreed that BDR allowed them to learn more about patient care compared with other modes of rounding, however.

Conclusions

Our study showed that our participants perceive BDR positively. Endorsed benefits include the ability to use patient-friendly language, the potential to improve trainees’ clinical skills, and an opportunity to become better teachers. The reported major barriers to BDR were potential concern for patient confusion and prolongation of rounds. Despite some prior exposure reported by residents and adequate attending skills, the frequency and preference for BDR remains low and the residents remain uncertain about the educational value of BDR. The evaluation of other factors that contribute to the low frequency of BDR needs further consideration. Furthermore, each residency program may differ in the patterns of perception toward BDR and these should be formally assessed before implementing this patient-centered mode of rounding.

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