Schwartz Center Rounds - Getting to the Heart of Patient Care

University of Mississippi Medical Center is the only site in the state to be a part of the national Schwartz Center Rounds®. Today there are more than 200 Schwartz Center Rounds sites in 31 states and the United Kingdom.

UMMC Schwartz Center Rounds is facilitied by the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Background

Kenneth Schwartz, a healthcare attorney, founded the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center at Massachusetts General Hospital shortly before his death of lung cancer in 1995. The center is dedicated to strengthening the relationship between patients and caregivers. During his illness, he understood first-hand the vital importance of compassion in today’s changing healthcare environment and the urgent need to promote meaningful relationships between patients and caregivers. Following his death, his friends, family and caregivers continued to develop and promote Ken Schwartz’s vision nationwide through the organization.
  • I have been touched by the smallest gestures - a squeeze of the hand,  a gentle touch, a reassuring word. In some ways these acts of humanity have felt more healing than the high-dose radiation and chemotherapy that hold the hope of a cure. - Kenneth Schwartz

Mission

To support and advance healthcare in which caregivers, patients and their families relate to one another in a way that provides hope to the patient, support to the caregivers and sustenance to the healing process.

Purpose

  • To provide a forum and “level playing field” where caregivers from diverse disciplines discuss difficult emotional and social issues that arise in caring for patients.
  • To explore the human and emotional side of clinical medicine - but with the focus on the patient-caregiver relationship rather than the patient.

Goals

  • Improving communication
  • Promoting compassion and empathy
  • Improving cultural competency
  • Improving spiritual care
  • Enhancing compassionate end-of-life care
  • Influencing caregiver training and creating best practice models
  • Empowering patients

Format

Using a unique format developed by the Schwartz Center, the Rounds create an interactive, facilitated forum where healthcare professionals from all disciplines come together on a regular basis to openly and honestly talk about difficult, emotional and social issues that arise in caring for patients.

A case is presented by a panel of healthcare professionals representing multi-disciplines and points of view. A facilitator then engages the audience in an interactive discussion about the case and participants’ shared experiences.

Benefits of Schwartz Center Rounds

  • Healthcare providers

    • Improved teamwork and communication among all types of caregivers
    • Compassionate, higher quality care
    • Increased staff satisfaction and pride in the workplace
  • Patients

    • Compassionate connections lead to better care for patients.
    • Patients of clinicians who practice with a high degree of compassion and empathy are more forthcoming about their symptoms and concerns.
    • Effective communication between caregivers and patients has been linked to increased compliance with recommended treatments, improved health outcomes, enhanced patient satisfaction and reduced malpractice claims.
  • Participating hospitals

    • New methods and strategies that can be broadly applied within the institution
    • Patient-centered changes in practices or policies within departments or hospital
    • Improving end-of-life care, including greater use of palliative care teams
    • Creating a support group for clinicians involved in medical errors
    • Personalizing nursing care for ICU patients with a poor prognosis

For more information

 Visit the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center: