Hospital Includes Parents in Hiring Process

John Commins, February 27, 2012

Nemours' brand new Children's Hospital in Orlando won't open until October, but the pediatric health system is demonstrating its commitment to patient- and family-centered care before the first child is admitted.

The health system has tapped into the wisdom and experience of a dozen or so parents of chronically ill children. Those parents volunteer to sit on a Family Advisory Board that meets with leadership candidates to gauge their commitment to the patient-and-family-centered mission.

"They may look great on paper. We can't judge that part. We can't judge their experience and their education background and their technical skills," says advisory board member Lynda Griffin of nearby Maitland, FL. Her six-year-old son suffers from cystic fibrosis.

"What we can do is part a gut feeling and part the candidate being transparent and open and also being open to working with the families," says Griffin, who has taken part in about 30 interviews. "One of my favorite questions for a candidate, depending on the job they are interviewing for, is if you think a parent should be there when something like a code is happening?"

"When somebody tells me that they do not think a parent should be in a situation where a child may be coding, or that there isn't a spot for the parent there, it tells me they're a little closed-minded to the whole patient-and-family-centered care collaboration with the Nemours team," she says.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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