Hospital Includes Parents in Hiring Process

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , February 27, 2012

Regardless of their backgrounds, Kennedy says the parents' input is highly valued because the HR professionals and medical staff cannot replicate the unique perspective of a parent with a chronically ill child. "From an HR perspective they bring something very real to the table as we are assessing candidates," he says. "When we think about the care of a child there is a partnership between the parents and the doctors the nurses and allied health professionals. We thought it was hugely important that parents have a voice in who we are bringing on as leaders.

Just how important is the parents' input on leadership candidates?

"In HR, there are a lot of touch points through the hiring process," Kennedy says. "The family perspective on a candidate is weighed very heavily. This is not cursory. It is not presenting the parents with an opportunity and then arbitrarily dismissing their thoughts. It has really set the tone, not only for who we hire, but how critical the parent is in partnering with us. It's been absolutely phenomenally successful in my view. The parents are hugely invested in this."

Griffin says it's a "privilege" to play a vital role in the leadership selection for the new 95-bed hospital, which will have nearly 600 employees when it opens this fall. She says having parents take part in the selection process also sends a clear message to the candidates.

"We want them to see that it is not just visiting with the physician and the nurse but also taking it to the next level of care all around; from the minute you walk through the door to the time you leave it is patient-and-family collaboration."

"The nurses and physicians do what they do really well. But we know our kids really well and that helps overall because you're getting another person that is part of the team looking out to make this child get better."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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