Working with Riley Families to Make Change

“At Riley we have to get to know the patient as a person,” says Alicia Schulhof, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health current Chief Operating Officer (COO). From the moment you walk in the door, Alicia ensures that you and your family have the best possible experience.

Gaining the patients’ perspective

Her role as a patient and family representative requires empathy. Alicia feels that, “We need to see things from a patient’s perspective, appreciating the different cultures and backgrounds we serve.” Alicia also draws on her personal experience. “Whether the experience I had with my good friend, Chad, in high school or that with my own children in the hospital for extended inpatient stays, I try to understand the perspective of the patient and the perspective of the family.” Her own journey inspires her to work directly with Riley families to make positive changes.

Rounding is another way Alicia stays connected with Riley families. She is not content to stay in her office behind a desk. Instead, she travels throughout the hospitals—rounding just as a doctor would. She talks with patients and families, discussing the patient’s stay, what brought them to Riley at IU Health, what they have enjoyed during their stay and if there were any problems.

Applying the feedback we receive

Alicia shares this feedback with other leaders at the hospital. Together, with patient input, they make decisions on how to make improvements for patients and families at Riley at IU Health.

It’s fair to say that Alicia enjoys working to improve hospital operations for Riley families, “I love coming to work, it is something I look forward to every morning. It is truly a dream and not a job, one that I get to live each and every day.”

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