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Who are all these people in my hospital room?

A new generation of patient and family centered care

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Dr. Kim Eagle and his medical team do their “bedside rounding” where they meet with the patient to discuss her medical plan as well as any concerns or questions.

At a teaching hospital like the University of Michigan, your room is likely to fill up with many new faces when the doctor makes his or her rounds. And you’re probably wondering: Who are all these people in my room??

The answer is simple and complex: They’re all there to care for you, and each has a specific reason for being in your room. Here’s a rundown of some of the people who might be in your room and what they do:

  • The attending physician or senior physician (your doctor) is also the “teacher” physician.
  • A pharmacy student as well as a clinical pharmacist “teacher” monitors your medications.
  •  A social worker is a healthcare professional trained to assist with social needs.
  • A nurse practitioner is a nurse with a graduate level of education who’s trained to diagnose and treat disease.
  • A physician assistant is a medical professional with graduate level education who’s trained to diagnose and treat disease.
  • Medical students are learning your history as part of their education.
  • Residents are physicians who are learning to deliver patient care.

Together on the journey

Together, these professionals (and more) make up your healthcare team and contribute to formulating your comprehensive care plan. But they can’t do it without you. To reinforce this, the U-M Frankel CVC team is bringing patients into the healthcare circle as part of its Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) program, which is based on the slogan: “Nothing about me, without me.”

The PFCC program is a healthcare approach that removes the barriers between medical professional and medical patient by truly valuing the concerns, opinions and voices of patients and their families.

“PFCC means we’re all in the care journey together,” says Dr. Kim Eagle. “We — including the patient and his or her family — are working together to try to improve the patient’s health state.” The team, he says, “starts with the patient. They have to fully embrace their participation. As healthcare providers, we need to find transparency in how we document their medical journey.

“When we go into a patient’s room, I introduce everyone with me — medical students, nurses and doctors — and explain what they do. I tell my patients, ‘We’re going to answer all your questions so you feel comfortable,’ says Dr. Eagle. “The patient has questions and fears, and we’re there explain to them what the tests are and why the patient is getting them.”

According to third year medical student Meti Gebregiorgis, “We know the patient wants to be communicated ‘to’ instead of having things being communicated behind their back and having incomplete information.”

To support this concept of “bedside rounding,” CVC healthcare professionals practice the PFCC bedside rounds initiative known as MICARE. The initiative models a new type of care for the next generation of doctors, highlighting the importance of each patient’s active role in his or her healthcare.

“By including patients and their families, and encouraging them to ask questions, they feel more in control of their own care,” says Dr. Eagle.

Take the next step:

  • Learn more about patient-centered care in the award-winning book “Inspired to Change: Improving Patient Care One Story at a Time.

Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.