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The big question: would regular multidisciplinary debriefs improve patient care?


Nurses, doctors and other health professionals could be expected to hold monthly meetings to discuss the pressures they face.

Health minister Dan Poulter recently told Nursing Times the government was investing £650,000 to expand a pilot of what are known as Schwartz Center Rounds to an extra 40 hospitals over the next two years.

Schwartz rounds involve the multidisciplinary team meeting once a month to discuss either specific patient cases or a set of circumstances they may face, such as caring for patients with dementia.

Research suggests this leads to staff feeling less isolated and better able to cope with pressures as well as improvements in communication.

What do you think of the initiative?


Readers' comments (10)

  • Well, it might be a good thing, but we do have lots of meetings already. In fact we have meetings to plan for meetings. Will we have to have a meeting to plan this meeting?
    Joking aside, it could be beneficial, or it could be just another meeting; if you know what I mean?

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  • 20 + years ago in the renal unit I worked in we held regular multi-disciplinary meetings (can't remember how frequently but more than monthly). Worked very well for the patients as all professions could influence the strategic management of each patient rather than just their day to day needs. It certainly encouraged mutual respect and a strong team approach. Yes we used to sigh when the meetings were due but looking back I can see that we took for granted a very valuable practice.

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  • Anonymous

    Lynne Healy | 30-May-2013 3:48 pm

    But why is the NHS spending £650,000 piloting 'Schwartz Center Rounds' instead of just implementing a locally-developed version of 'talking about things is helpful'?

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  • michael stone

    As Anonymous (the real one, who seems to be back after an absence) says above:

    Why are we PAYING for 'Schwartz Rounds' ? Why are we (NHS) not developing our own methodology(ies) for 'discussion-generated improvement' in-house ? It is a ruddy obvious idea - whoever Schwartz is/was, 'Why did I just hit my finger instead of the nail ?!' isn't a thought he first had !

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  • tinkerbell

    too many meetings, not enough staff, meetings taking priority, not good. Although i have nothing against meetings per se, if they are followed by 'action' in my experience i find the majority of them to be fruitless.

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  • tinkerbell

    In an essay he published shortly before he died, Mr. Schwartz described the relationships he had with several of his caregivers during his final months of life. Struggling to come to terms with leaving behind a wife and 3-year-old son, he wrote that the “acts of kindness — the simple touch from my caregivers — have made the unbearable bearable.”

    “If I have learned anything,” he continued, “it is that we never know when, how or whom a serious illness will strike. If and when it does, each one of us wants not simply the best possible care for our body but for our whole being.”

    However, it is important to be able to debrief as professionals to lighten the load, as above.

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  • considering the cost of setting up these rounds hopefully free coffee, tea, milk, sugar, soft drinks and biscuits are included.

    In the good old days pharm. companies used to organise lunchtime teaching rounds with free lunches.

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  • Marc Evans

    As I mentioned on the Twitter chat, Monthly MDT's can only be a good thing for patient care. It means we are in full collaboration with our colleagues and can get a full picture of the patients circumstances. It enhances care delivery, boosts staff morale and helps patients return to health quicker. In a way it can help relive pressures on beds because we can understand the care we are to provide, put a plan in place, create goals and meet targets.

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  • Oh Marc! You know if you hadn't said that I would never have known what MDTs can achieve. These rounds are another political rod to best us with. Listen mate, it has nothing to do with care, but everything to do bashing nurses.

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  • I cannot imagine good quality coordinated patient care where I worked without these interdisciplinary rounds. surely communication is the alpha and omega of holistic patient care.

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