“Walking the Walk”

Roswell Park’s Executive Team Transforms Patient Suggestions into Reality
Friday, January 6, 2017 - 3:28pm

Known as much for his famous quotes as for his skill in baseball, New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.” That’s true! But much more can be observed through introductions, conversations, and listening. The executive team at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center understands that, and that’s why they “walk the walk.”

For the past several months, members of the team have paired up and walked through the hospital in a practice called executive rounding. Assigned to different locations, they visit patients, patients’ loved ones and staff in both inpatient and outpatient areas. The purpose is simple: to learn by asking questions and listening carefully.

Afterward, the executives get together to share what they have learned with the Office of the Patient & Family Experience and other members of the leadership team. Much of the feedback is positive — a response to the fact that Roswell Park’s top leaders take time to meet and talk with everyone.

And the feedback provides some excellent ideas. For example, a patient who arrived for an appointment very early in the morning was disappointed that valet service was not available at that hour. The very next day, valet service hours were extended to begin at 6 a.m. In the reception area of the new Chemotherapy & Infusion Center, a single-serve coffee maker has been replaced with a fully stocked station offering a wider selection of high-quality coffees and teas. New paint, improved lighting and better ventilation have made patient areas more comfortable and inviting. All those changes were made as a direct result of patient feedback. Not only are our leaders listening, but they're also taking action!

As an Institute, we firmly believe that when the patient is at the center of every decision and action, everything else will fall into place naturally. We are proud that executive rounding has created a triple-win scenario. It’s good for our patients and our staff, and it benefits our executives as well. 

Says Kara Eaton-Weaver, Executive Director of the Patient & Family Experience, “By speaking directly with the people who are experiencing the real Roswell Park on a daily basis, senior leaders are better equipped to make decisions that are positive for everyone.”

This article was provided by Roswell Park’s Office of the Patient/Family Experience. Questions or comments? Please call 716-845-8114.