Schwartz Rounds provide a valuable opportunity for all staff to reflect on the emotional impact of their work through conversations facilitated by a local clinical lead and facilitator. They are unique in that unlike other supports for staff they do not seek to solve problems or look for outcomes. Through the sharing of stories in confidence, Schwartz Rounds have been proven to improve staff well-being (reducing psychological distress), reduce hierarchy and improve teamwork and connection which ultimately has an impact on improved patient centred care.
Evidence and benefits of Schwartz Rounds
In healthcare today, we see increasing complexity in service provision, changing societal dynamics and ongoing work to save costs and improve efficiency. Staff seek to remain passionate about care, but each day we hear stories of the impact of burnout and disengagement. Colleagues have less opportunities to come together as a team, to pause and reflect and many are forgoing breaks and mealtimes to meet patient needs. However, we know from international evidence that all of these things are essential if staff are to not only remain physically and mentally healthy on a personal level but to also provide safe services for those they meet and to be at their best when they return home to families and friends outside of work. In a time of complex service provision where burnout is a common occurrence, there is a need within healthcare to provide meaningful supports for staff.
In summary the benefits of Schwartz Rounds include:
- Increased insight into the social and emotional aspects of care
- Increased confidence to deal with sensitive and non-clinical issues relating to patients
- Beliefs in the importance of empathy and human connection
- Openness to expressing thoughts, questions and feelings.
- Decreased feelings of stress and isolation
- Improved team work and interdisciplinary communication
- Specific changes in departmental or organisation wide practices as a result of insights that have arisen from discussions in Rounds.
There have been several studies completed on Schwartz Rounds and their impact. Most valuable information lies in staff comments about the personal impact on them. We’ve found the following resources helpful.
The Point of Care Foundation has an extensive section on their website with research on Schwartz Rounds which is available via this link.
The National Quality Improvement Team commissioned an evaluation of the test of concept of Schwartz Rounds in Ireland with Trinity College Dublin. Please see below information on Schwartz Rounds in an Irish context
We’ve also found the following helpful:
- Mixed signals about the mental health of the NHS workforce, Lancet Psychiatry 2020
- Implementing Schwartz Rounds in an Irish maternity hospital, Sarah Cullen, National Maternity Hospital, Dublin
- Longitudinal study on Schwartz Rounds in England by Professor Jill Maben 2009 – 2015, Exploring the adoption of Schwartz Center Rounds as an organisational innovation to improve staff well-being in England”, 2009–2015
- An Organisational Guide to Establishing Schwartz Rounds
- Understanding Schwartz Rounds a video clip
- Summary of the impact of the Schwartz Rounds Programme from The Point of Care Foundation
- Evaluation of Schwartz Rounds Pilots in England 2011
- Evaluation of Schwartz Rounds in US 2010, Lown BA, Manning CF. The Schwartz Center Rounds: evaluation of an interdisciplinary approach to enhancing patient-centered communication, teamwork, and provider support. Acad Med 2010; 85: 1073–81.
- The Schwartz Centre for Compassionate Healthcare
For more information on Schwartz Rounds:
We hope you find the attached summary leaflet and brief introductory presentation helpful:
The Point of Care Foundation has a detailed section on their website with information and resources for making the case on Schwartz Rounds which is available via the following links:
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require further information.
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