Next Schwartz Center Rounds:
Friday, March 24: 12:00-1:00 PM, Lunch at 11:30 AM
School of Nursing McLeod Hall Auditorium
Rooted in the experience of one patient, the Schwartz Center has grown into an organization addressing the universal concerns of many. In November 1994, health care attorney Kenneth Schwartz was diagnosed with lung cancer. His case was riddled with terrible ironies. He was only 40 and a nonsmoker. He ate well and exercised regularly.
During his 10-month ordeal, Ken came to realize that what matters most during an illness is the human connection with professional caregivers. He wrote movingly about his illness and care in an article for The Boston Globe Magazine, “A Patient’s Story”. In it, he reminds caregivers to stay in the moment with patients and how “the smallest acts of kindness made the unbearable bearable”. The piece has become a touchstone for the Center and readers all over the country.
At the end of his life Ken outlined the organization he wanted created. It would be a center that would nurture the compassion in medicine, encouraging the sorts of caregiver-patient relationships that made all the difference to him.
“We initiated Schwartz Center Rounds in 2002 and they are still going strong, with an average of over 100 attendees each month. The format allows for a free exchange of ideas, feelings and reactions, reinforcing the common humanity of caregivers, patients and families. They are clearly now part of the fabric of our institution.” ~ Raymond J. Mayewski, MD, Vice President and CMO, University of Rochester Medical Center
Supporting Providers, Improving Quality of Care
Rounds are a place where people who don’t usually talk about the heart of the work are willing to share their vulnerability, to question themselves. Rounds are an opportunity for dialogue that doesn’t happen anywhere else in the hospital. ~ UVA Rounds Participant
The stresses of today’s healthcare system threaten the delivery of compassionate care. Financial pressures and administrative demands mean less face-to-face time with the patient and a focus on diagnosis and treatment rather than the impact of illness on the patient and family. Many caregivers today are anxious, frustrated and under pressure – with no structured outlet for expressing their feelings and little preparation for the difficult communication issues that are an inevitable part of patient care.
Now taking place at more than 230 healthcare facilities in 33 states, Schwartz Center Rounds offer healthcare providers a regularly scheduled time during their fast-paced work lives to openly and honestly discuss social and emotional issues that arise in caring for patients. In contrast to traditional medical rounds, the focus is on the human dimension of medicine. Caregivers have an opportunity to share their experiences, thoughts and feelings on thought-provoking topics drawn from actual patient cases. The premise is that caregivers are better able to make personal connections with patients and colleagues when they have greater insight into their own responses and feelings.
A hallmark of the program is interdisciplinary dialogue. Panelists from diverse disciplines participate in the Rounds, including physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, allied health professionals and chaplains. After listening to a panel’s brief presentation on an identified case or topic, caregivers in the audience are invited to share their own perspectives on the case and broader related issues.
For a glimpse of Rounds, please view the Schwartz Center’s video, Voices of Caregivers.
Benefits of Rounds
Schwartz Center Rounds strengthen the caregiver-patient relationship and remind caregivers why they entered their profession. A comprehensive evaluation shows that the program has a unique and profound impact on caregivers as well as host institutions. This evaluation was recently written about in Academic Medicine.
Caregivers who participated in multiple Rounds sessions reported:
- Increased insight into social and emotional aspects of patient care; increased feelings of compassion toward patients; and increased readiness to respond to patients’ and families’ needs.
- Improved teamwork, interdisciplinary communication, and appreciation for the roles and contributions of colleagues from different disciplines.
- Decreased feelings of stress and isolation, and more openness to giving and receiving support.
In many cases, participants reported that insights gained at Rounds led to the implementation of specific changes in departmental or hospital-wide practices or policies to benefit both patients and providers. The study also found that the more Rounds caregivers attended, the greater the benefits they experienced.
Schwartz Center Rounds are jointly sponsored by the Center for Appreciative Practice, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, Chaplaincy Services, Compassionate Care Initiative, and Professional Nursing Staff Organization.
The University of Virginia School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The University of Virginia School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
The University of Virginia School of Medicine awards 1.0 hour of participation (equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM) to each non-physician participant who successfully completes this educational activity. The University of Virginia School of Medicine maintains a record of participation for six years.
The University of Virginia School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
The University of Virginia SONCE awards 1.0 contact hour for nurses who participate in this educational activity and complete the post activity evaluation.