These authors describe the implementation and evaluation of a unit-based policy change to improve quality of care: encouraging open access to bedside rounds for families of patients in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Parents of children in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) place great importance on receiving information about their children’s condition, having their questions answered, and talking with the physicians in charge of their children’s care.1 Although nurses often bridge the communication gap between parents and physicians, patients’ families understandably want the opportunity to speak directly with physicians about the medical plan of care.

In the PICU at Children’s Hospital of Iowa in Iowa City, the family visiting policy was a major obstacle to sharing information between parents and the physicians in a timely manner. Because families were not allowed to stay in the unit during medical rounds, nurses often felt “caught in the middle” between parents and...

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