Parkland Medical Center - March 01, 2017
by John Skevington, Chief Operating Officer - Parkland Medical Center

It is an honor to kick-off the 2017 Parkland Medical Center Leadership blog and I want to focus on an important strategy we have in place that benefits our patients and staff... rounding. It is the belief of our leadership team that we must continue to make Parkland an exceptional place to work and care for patients. In order to do so, we work hard to cultivate an environment where all employees are satisfied, and have a clear sense of purpose around their roles. We also strive to provide our patients with the highest quality of care and best experience possible.

In this spirit, I want to share a personal story that ties in with the work and commitment we have instilled at Parkland.

Leadership Lessons

My first job was working in a manufacturing plant where I held my role from high school and into my senior year of college. It was hot, exhausting, and not particularly exciting. However, I share this personal anecdote with you because I take pride in the hard work I was involved in for so many years. I certainly was not saving lives, or coming to the aid of individuals in their most vulnerable of moments, or providing the indispensable resources and support to our health professionals who take on these challenging tasks daily. Instead, I spent hours sorting nuts and bolts, and hanging parts on an assembly line. However, I knew that my role contributed to the quality of the equipment our company made. When I saw an opportunity for improvement, I was empowered to speak up. I took pride in my hard work and received accolades that affected my own as well as my co-workers productivity.

I felt this way, because one of the leaders of the company made a habit of rounding on each of his employees at least once a month. He always made sure to ask about how our families were doing, learned our interests, and sometimes elicited information on how the progress of a certain piece of equipment was coming, and what could be done to make it better. He also made sure to tell us who and what our products were for, and whom they would be servicing. This had a powerful impact on all employees, many of whom have continued to work for the company for decades. Rounding provided employees a voice, and the loyal customer support was a reflection of the positive, employee-driven workplace that was cultivated.

I learned no matter what we are doing; caring for patients, making equipment, or playing a role in either, there is purpose in what we do, and there are real frustrations and celebrations that go along with it. The key to having a positive environment is a culture of honest communication and accountability. The leader I spoke of created a positive culture through the simple, but important act of rounding on employees.

Pride in Rounding

As leaders did at the company I worked for many years ago, the leadership team at Parkland Medical Center makes it a point to round on employees and patients. We are committed to having face-to-face, engaging conversations with staff and patients so we can learn first-hand from them what is working well and what areas we can improve. Our leadership team conducts purposeful rounding because we truly care about increasing employee and patient satisfaction. We receive excellent patient testimonials every day, but there is always room for improvement. As a healthcare provider, we want to ensure the needs of our patients and staff are met at every level, and that means we are always looking for ways to make enhancements to benefit our patients.

At Parkland, we strive to be in the top quartile for patient satisfaction nationally and that is not always easy. In order to help achieve this we rely on employee and patient feedback. We ask our staff to be ready on rounding to let us know what is working well, and to share ideas for improvement. As importantly, we make sure to recognize those on in our organization who have done an outstanding job. While these interactions are everyday occurrences during rounding, they are celebrated!

In 2017, we look forward to making Parkland Medical Center an even better community hospital and as always, ask that you share any feedback with us so we can continue to make improvements. Thank you for taking the time to read this post about the importance of rounding, and please contact me directly with any thoughts, ideas or feedback at