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Adapting the “Managing By Walking Around” Methodology as a Leadership Strategy to Communicate a Hospital-Wide Strategic Plan

Rubin, Marcie Sara MPH; Stone, Richard K. MD

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: March-April 2010 - Volume 16 - Issue 2 - p 162–166
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181c6b68a

Metropolitan Hospital Center (MHC) in East Harlem, New York, has undergone significant leadership changes within the past few years, and the current leadership team developed a long-term strategic plan for the organization that it wanted to effectively communicate to all hospital staff. The spread of information is a challenge at MHC, as it is in many hospitals, because of the large number of staff working various shifts, and the inability of staff to leave their units at the same time to attend general staff meetings. Because of the recent success of the hospital's Executive WalkRounds Program and Breakthough Program, which embody principles of the leadership strategy Managing By Walking Around (MBWA), the senior leadership team decided to roll out their new strategic plan in a 2-week series of rounds to each unit/department throughout the hospital during each shift. Utilizing this method, 69 percent of MHC staff attended the rounds, and 88.9 percent of management level staff and 64.5 percent of unionized/labor who participated in the hospital's Employee Satisfaction Survey stated that they understood the hospital's new strategic plan. MHC's successful strategy is easily applicable within other similar settings.

This study describes two programs that were used to communicate the hospital's new strategic plan to the staff.

Marcie Sara Rubin, MPH, is Chief of Staff, Metropolitan Hospital Center, New York. She currently serves on Section Council, Health Administration Section of APHA, and is also Membership Chair, Public Health Association of New York City.

Richard K. Stone, MD, is Medical Director, Metropolitan Hospital Center, New York. He is also Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Public Health, New York Medical College.

Corresponding Author: Marcie Sara Rubin, MPH, Metropolitan Hospital Center, 1901 First Ave, New York, NY 10029 (

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.