Seeing I to Eye Together, or SIT, is an initiative in the Department of Medicine aimed at improving the relationships between physicians and their patients. In a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, investigators in the DOM found evidence indicating sitting at the bedside correlates with better patient perceptions of doctor communication. From 364 patient surveys, frequent sitting at the bedside was correlated with better patient perceptions of spending enough time at the bedside, checking for understanding and not seeming to be in a rush. When surveying residents, Dr. Stephen Berry, senior author of the study and Vice Chair for Quality, Safety and Service, and team found the most commonly cited barrier to sitting was that chairs were not available. As a result, the team set about providing wall-mounted folding chairs in patient rooms for use at the bedside by medicine residents on three floors in the Nelson building. Over a six-month study period, this increase in available seating correlated with increased sitting at the bedside and expected improvements in patient perceptions of spending enough time and checking for understanding (results presented at Society of Hospital Medicine Converge 2023, see the poster below). The team concluded that placing wall-mounted chairs in patient rooms may be a simple, durable way to improve commination between physicians and patients.
In light of this information, in the DOM has begun installing chairs in all acute care floors at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Please look for the chairs as you enter patient rooms in Nelson, Meyer, and Halsted-Osler. All healthcare professionals are encouraged to use them!