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The Power of Family Engagement in Rounds: An Exemplar With Global Outcomes

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Family engagement in rounds has been recommended to improve communication, but its impact on patient outcomes is unknown. At the authors' institution, nurses encouraged family presence at rounds as part of a larger project to enhance communication during rounding. In the case reported here, family engagement resulted in a critical care patient's wife suggesting bacteriophage therapy, which led to her husband's survival. The wife's involvement provided unique insight into the patient's response to treatments and valuable suggestions regarding the treatment plan. Real-time communication among the nurse, family, and physician improved the accuracy and quality of shared information as well as the plan of care. This exemplar demonstrates how family engagement in rounds can not only optimize the outcomes of individual patients but also lead to medical and scientific advances. More research is needed to further elucidate the impact of families on treatment plans and outcomes.

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This item is under embargo until December 31, 2999.