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Olabisi Animashaun, who has worked for Ambulatory Registration at BWH for nearly 20 years, occasionally fields calls from patients who are frustrated after being transferred multiple times. She finds herself in a balancing act between providing customer service for the patients on the phone and the patients waiting to register for an outpatient visit.
At the hospital’s inaugural Town Meeting Dec. 8, Animashaun had the opportunity to tell BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD, and senior leadership about her experience and ask about the possibility of improving the hospital’s telephone systems to more efficiently help patients.
“That’s a great question and suggestion,” Chief Information Officer Sue Schade told her. “It’s something we’ll certainly look into.”
More than 500 BWHers who participated in the Town Meeting heard a State of the Hospital address by Nabel and had the opportunity to ask 14 members of the senior leadership team their questions.
“It's good that senior leadership is open to input from staff who are on the floor day to day,” said Christine Wenc, of the Department of Medicine, who was one of the 200 people to attend the meeting in Bornstein Amphitheater. Other employees at the hospital and throughout the distributed campus logged on from their desk to watch the meeting via webcast.
“Getting to know your leadership team is really what this Town Meeting is about,” said Nabel. “The feedback from the Employee Opinion Survey we conducted in June told us that you wanted me and your other leaders at this institution to be more visible, and to let you know where this institution is headed.”
Nabel’s State of the Hospital address touched upon BWH’s vision, mission and challenges. She also provided an overview of the current strategic planning process.
“We need to be thinking strategically to guide our future,” said Nabel. “Our strategic planning initiative will focus on redesigning care to ensure we are delivering the safest possible care in the most efficient, cost-effective manner.”
She encouraged all employees to engage with senior leadership throughout the strategic planning process.
“We invite you to think strategically. We ask for your ideas and your suggestions within the areas in which you work,” said Nabel. “We ask that you engage with us in care redesign and patient affordability, and that you commit to service excellence in all that you do, for it is the patient experience that will continue to differentiate us.”
Following the State of the Hospital address, the microphones were turned to the audience for a question and answer period, with topics ranging from health care reform to benefits to diversity.
“You have stated in the past that you are committed to diversity,” Dwayne Wheeler, of Anesthesiology, said. “Can you please let us know if that commitment continues, and what is your strategy to make this commitment a reality?”
Nabel’s response was a reassurance of the institution’s commitment.
“I want you to know that I’m very committed to building diversity in this hospital,” she said. “The patients and families that we serve are a diverse community, and for us to do the best job that we can, we must be a diverse community of health care providers. You have my personal commitment that I will work hard to continue our efforts to foster diversity throughout the BWH community, including senior leadership.”
At the end of the meeting, Nabel acknowledged that conversations between leadership and employees are integral to the success of the hospital.
“I’ve enjoyed beginning to get to know you,” she said. “This kind of conversation will be helpful, and we should continue with it going forward. That is my commitment to you, as well.”
View the Photo Gallery: BWHPikeNotes.org/news/DrNabelsNotes/photogallery.aspx
Dr. Nabel pointed BWHers to the following sections on BWHPikeNotes.org for more information on certain topics:
Dr. Nabel’s Notes: BWHPikeNotes.org/news/DrNabelsNotes/Default.aspx
BW/F Strategic Planning: BWHPikeNotes.org/about/BWHStrategicPlan/default.aspx