April 28, 2015


Did you know your phone charger plugged into an outlet uses energy even if it’s not in use? In fact, any electronics that are kept plugged in use energy even when they’re not turned on. Did you know that just turning off just your computer monitor could conserve energy? Did you know that Texas Children’s Green Team has helped save the organization $10.3 million in energy costs since 2008 by promoting an environmentally friendly workplace?

Earth Day was a day to celebrate all that the team has done to initiate a change and direct a move toward a decreased environmental footprint. It was also a time to get you, the employees, involved in the efforts to go green. On April 22, employees joined the Earth Day celebrations by learning about energy conservation from vendors at bridge events, taking “green” selfies at the Main and West Camps “selfie stations” and attending the tree plantings on each campus.

View the Texas Children’s Earth Day photo gallery below.

Here are some tips to go green at work:
Drink green: You don’t need to join the green juice movement, but remember to bring your reusable cups and mugs to the office so you can refill your water or coffee without refilling the trash cans.
Make a memo pad: Reuse unwanted paper by making up memo pads. Just a couple of staples and you’ve got a handy pad for phone messages, notes or lists.
Join the team: Join Texas Children’s Green Team by emailing your name and your department so you can get involved when help is needed in your area. Just email: Teamgreen@texaschildrens.org

Texas Children’s Earth Day photo gallery:


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.”


On October 1, Texas Children’s will join other hospitals across the nation and switch from ICD-9 code sets to the expanded ICD-10 code sets to report patients’ diagnoses and procedures. For the first time in more than 30 years, this transition to ICD-10 will streamline the management of health care records to ensure even better outcomes for our patients.

The implementation of the ICD-10 coding system was delayed last year after Congress passed a new law to postpone cuts to the Medicare reimbursement rate for physicians. President Barack Obama recently signed legislation on April 16 that permanently replaces Medicare’s sustainable growth rate formula, putting a rest to the likelihood of another ICD-10 delay.

For more than a year, Texas Children’s ICD-10 preparedness teams have worked diligently to ensure all employees are prepared for the mandatory October 1 conversion. The most important action we can take is to educate ourselves and be ready for the transition, as it will impact physicians, coders, billing staff, nurses, labs, front desk and many other areas.

“We believe that communicating the change clearly and consistently will help ensure a smooth transition,” said Texas Children’s Chief Safety Officer Dr. Joan Shook. “Some of the tools we’ve developed – like a fact sheet that answers frequently asked questions – are specific to this change, while other times we use existing hospital and provider publications to keep everyone informed.”

Unlike the ICD-10 coding system, the 30-year-old ICD-9 codes use outdated terminology, lack specificity and is running out of room as hundreds of new diagnosis codes are submitted annually. The United States is the only country that uses ICD-9, and the switch to ICD-10 will enable more accurate comparisons of health care data with other countries.

With more than 140,000 diagnostic and procedural codes, ICD-10 will give our physicians, researchers and others a more accurate picture of our patient care by allowing greater specificity and precision in describing a patient’s diagnosis and classifying inpatient procedures.

ICD-10’s more expansive coding system also will help health care providers better track data to measure the quality and safety of care, process claims for reimbursement, and improve clinical, financial and administrative performance.

The two roles most affected by the ICD-10 conversion are physicians and coders. Texas Children’s has partnered with Baylor College of Medicine to provide e-learning videos for physicians to explain how the new coding system will affect their specialties. Coding staff have completed “boot-camps” to learn about the ICD-10 codes and have begun coding some accounts in ICD-9 and ICD-10. For others, the ICD-education team has prepared an area-specific curriculum that is available online through Healthstream.

The deadline for Physician providers to complete required online training is Tuesday, September 1. Click here to access the e-learning modules specific to your specialty.

“We want to ensure our providers are prepared as the ICD-10 implementation moves forward,” said Texas Children’s Director of Health Information Management Austin Frazier. “The latest education completion statistic is 10 percent, but our goal is to achieve 100 percent compliance by September 1.”

Texas Children’s continues to train its staff on the ICD-10 system and make system upgrades to the hospital’s electronic health record and other ancillary systems to ensure it is compatible with the ICD-10 code set.

Below are links to a quick fact sheet and helpful sites with basic information on ICD-10 to see how this change will impact your own medical record documentation.

For more information:
ICD-10 Video
ICD-10 Fact Sheet
ICD-10 Industry Updates
ICD-10 Myths and Facts


Infographic3-300x494We care for our patients and their families by doing all we can to make their experience here as best it can be. For most of our patient families, that experience begins with something that should be relatively simple – convenient parking.

However, patient families and visitors often are unable to find parking in our garages, partly because our employees are occupying spaces that have been designated for them. There also are a number of employees who use the valet services intended for our patient families.

Using the limited parking reserved for our patient families is counter to the experience we strive to provide them. It also disregards Texas Children’s Parking Policy, which states that employees “may not pull a coin to park or use valet parking services in Texas Children’s Hospital garages 12, 16 or 21 when acting in their capacity as an employee. By doing so, an employee may be subject to disciplinary action.”

Security will be conducting random monitoring to identify employees who are parking in these garages. When a violating employee is identified, Security will send a letter to the employee and his or her director to take corrective action.

Remember, employees can park for free in Garage 19 on Greenbriar Drive. They also can use dependable, comfortable transit to and from that garage to the Main Campus facilities. We are introducing new shuttles with more amenities this spring.

Having a dedicated employee parking garage and transit system provides you with a convenient alternative to the limited parking on the Main Campus, which is the only option for our patient families and visitors. So please, help us create a better experience for them by parking in the designated employee garage so that finding parking is the least of our patient families’ concerns when they are here. It’s a simple step that could have a lasting impact on a family’s experience with us.

42915stephaniemarton640Dr. Stephanie Marton from The Center in Greenspoint is the latest Texas Children’s Super Star leader. “Knowing that I am contributing a small slice to improving the futures of the children I work with is my biggest motivator. The smile on a kid’s face, their high fives, their questions and curiosity about the world, all keep me ticking.”

Read more of Dr. Marton’s interview:

Q&A: Dr. Stephanie Marton, October – December 2014

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Dr. Stephanie Marton, Medical Site Leader for the Center for Children and Women, Greenspoint. Although I have been with Baylor College of Medicine since 2008, I have worked at the Center for Children and Women for about a year.

What month are you Super Star for?
October-December 2014

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
We had an all staff meeting. At the very end an announcement was made that I had won an award. I was speechless (both from shock and from a recent viral illness that had helped me to lose my voice).

What does it mean to be recognized for the hard work you do?
I feel very honored to be selected for this award. I see my entire team doing the best work every day to provide quality patient care, and I hope that everyone realizes that they, too, are part of this award.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
Giving 110 percent commitment every day to both patients and their colleagues.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
Every day I see patients coming in to the Center for Children and Women at Greenspoint, and I directly see the impact that Texas Children’s Hospital is making in this community. Knowing that I am contributing a small slice to improving the futures of these children is my biggest motivator. The smile on a kid’s face, their high fives, their questions and curiosity about the world, all of this keeps me ticking.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
My coworkers. Health care is a team effort, and my colleagues with whom I work make a hard day’s work that much easier.


Dr. Akash Patel will be presented with the 2015-2016 Christopher R. Getch Fellowship Award from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Fellowships Committee during its annual meeting in September.

This prestigious award provides $100,000 for advanced training and is given to a neurosurgeon or fellow engaged in clinical research that promises to significantly impact the field of neurosurgery.

Patel is an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine and a neurosurgeon who specializes in the treatment of malignant and benign tumors of the brain and skull mass.

As a scientist at the Jan and Dan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s, Patel’s research focuses on determining the molecular underpinnings of inherited and sporadic forms of various brain tumors to develop targeted therapies to treat common and aggressive cases.


Texas Children’s Chief Quality Officer and Senior Vice President Dr. Angelo P. Giardino was recently unanimously confirmed to serve on the American Board of Medical Quality (ABMQ) Board of Directors.

The ABMQ evaluates and certifies professionals and programs in the science and management of improving clinical processes and outcomes in systems that service and deliver health care. The organization is closely associated with the American College of Medical Quality of which Giardino is a distinguished fellow.