OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have shown that inpatients and families in academic settings have a limited ability to recall either their medical team members or the roles of those members. This is an important issue for patient and family satisfaction as well as patient safety. The objective of this study was to increase families’ recognition of medical team members’ roles.
METHODS: We established a multidisciplinary quality improvement leadership team, measured family recognition of medical team members and their roles, and conducted 2 PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycles. The first intervention was standardization of the content and delivery of our verbal team introductions to ensure inclusion of essential elements and family engagement. The second intervention was addition of an informational white board in each patient room. The prospective study included 105 families in the preintervention phase, 103 post-PDSA cycle 1, and 92 post-PDSA cycle 2.
RESULTS: After conduction of 2 PDSA cycles, the recognition of the attending role increased from 49% to 87% (P = .000), the resident role from 39% to 73% (P = .000), and the medical student from 75% to 89% (P = .038).
CONCLUSIONS: The multidisciplinary quality improvement model was effective in improving family recognition of the roles of attending physicians, resident physicians, and medical students. Consistent attention to engaging the families and explaining our roles as well as providing informational white boards are effective interventions to facilitate this process.