The Patient and Family Concierge: A New Role in Team-Based Care

By: Erin Hoolahan

When asked Cherie Sweigart, patient and family concierge, Telemetry, UPMC Lititz, why she now works in health care after more than 30 years in education, she shared that she holds the same goal she did as a teacher’s aide to help those she serves feel seen, heard, safe, and loved. 

Cherie’s new role at UPMC, patient and family concierge, was created as part of the Team-Based Care Model. This re-imagined framework for care delivery encourages collaboration and promotes a team culture of proactively asking for and offering help. Her role focuses on essential non-clinical tasks that support her team and enhance the patient’s experience.  

For Cherie, that often includes delivering water to patients, preparing empty rooms for the next patient, managing the supply room, answering call bells, delivering items to the lab, participating in purposeful rounding, and assisting with discharges. 

“By filling in the little ‘unseen’ needs, I can see that things run more smoothly for the PCTs and nursing staff,” Cherie said. “This means that those with clinical skills can stay on the floor and keep moving to provide top-notch care to patients.” 

As the Team-Based Care Model continues to be implemented across UPMC, teams are recognizing a number of benefits to their work, including increased distribution of responsibilities, reduced stress, and better availability and allocation of resources. The team approach ensures more consistent, purposeful rounding that leads to increased responsiveness in meeting patients’ needs. 

For others considering a career change into health care, Cherie’s advice is, “Be open. Be open to meeting new people and be open to experiencing new challenges. Be open to making someone’s day brighter by seeing to the little details that make patients, visitors, and staff feel valued and appreciated.” 

If you or someone you know may be interested in exploring a career as a patient and family concierge within any one of UPMC’s conveniently located hospitals, view available opportunities.