Background: Multidisciplinary (MDR) team rounds were established at Halifax hospital as daily, dedicated interactions between varying members of the care team on each inpatient floor. Members of the care team include physicians, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and case managers. These multidisciplinary interactions allow for smooth, real-time, and accurate information that facilitate communication and enhance the discharge process. To be successful, MDRs require buy-in from all members of the interdisciplinary team, especially physicians. This study was conducted to assess family medicine resident and attending physician perceptions of the benefit of multidisciplinary rounds to reducing length of stay and enhancing overall patient care as well as their value to resident education.
Methods: Specifically designed surveys were administered over a one-month period to family medicine residents and faculty regardless of whether they had participated in an MDR. Respondents indicated agreement to statements on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (“not at all”) to 5 (“very much”). For the purposes of analysis, responses were categorized into ‘negative’ (≤2), ‘neutral’ (=3) or ‘positive’ (≥4). To ensure anonymity, surveys did not indicate resident or faculty status. In addition, open-ended questions explored resident and faculty opinions on barriers and challenges to multidisciplinary rounds. These responses were analyzed using content thematic analysis.
Results: There were 24 responses to the survey out of a possible 34, resulting in a response rate of 71%. Of the 24 participants, 83% had attended at least one MDR session. Most residents and faculty (88%) agreed that MDRs are effective at reducing inpatient length of stay and provide benefit for patient care (83%). However, their educational value was not so clear cut. Only 50% of participants perceived that MDRs are educational for residents; 33% were neutral, and 17% disagreed. Thematic analysis showed that time restraints and disruptions to rounding were identified as the most common challenges/barriers that affect physician involvement in MDRs.
Conclusions: Overall, family medicine residents’ and faculty opinions of MDRs in reducing inpatient LOS and enhancing patient care were favorable. However, the perception of educational benefit is in question, suggesting that certain aspects of MDRs may need to be redesigned to enhance the learning experience for residents in order to keep them engaged in the process.