Compassion drives patient experience at Texas Children’s


Three years ago, Jamie Platt gave birth to what she and her husband thought was a healthy baby boy. Six days later, surgeons at Texas Children’s Hospital were operating on her son’s heart.

Since then, Texas Children’s has become the family’s second home. Logan is doing well but needs extensive therapy and medical care to manage his heart problem and other health conditions.

For the most part, the Platts have had a phenomenal experience here. Their doctors, nurses and medical staff have provided excellent medical care. However, there have been times when Jamie and her husband, Jeremy, wish they had been treated with more compassion.

“When that bedside manner isn’t there, it makes the whole experience different,” Jamie said.

Patient and family experience is more than the medical care we provide. It has to do with how we treat our patients and their families from the moment they call to schedule an appointment with us to the point they leave our care.

During that time, did we help them navigate our halls? Did we look them in the eye when we spoke to them? Did we greet them with a smile?

Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine Dr. Roger Nicome said everyone knows we provide the best possible medical care at Texas Children’s Hospital.

“What we want is for people to feel their care was given in a compassionate manner that not only focuses on curing their illness, but also improving their well-being,” Nicome said. To accomplish that goal, Nicome, who is very involved with patient experience initiatives at Texas Children’s, said he treats his patients like they were members of his family.

“If I do that, I know I will go the extra mile,” he said.

For the past six months, employees across the organization have unified forces to focus on improving the patient experience at Texas Children’s. Four core teams – Ambulatory Surgery, Inpatient, Medical Practice and Outpatient – are leading the effort and working on more than a dozen projects that will enhance patient experience. Employees can learn about those projects and how they can help at two upcoming patient experience events:

  • Patient Experience Bridge Event, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, The Auxiliary Bridge, Main Campus
  • Patient Experience Event, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, West Campus

On a daily basis, employees can:

  • Introduce yourself and extend a greeting
  • Commit to sit during patient/family interactions
  • Make eye contact when appropriate
  • Avoid use of personal electronic devices in common areas and find a family to assist
  • Knock before entering an exam room
  • Acknowledge visitors at 15 feet by making eye contact, smiling, nodding, etc. and greet them at 10 feet

“It is essential that all of us consistently demonstrate the Texas Children’s value of living compassionately and put the patient at the center of everything we do,” said Elisa Mozley, assistant director of Patient and Family Services. “If we accomplish that,” she said, “everything else that shapes a positive patient experience should follow.”