July 21, 2015

72215WCSIU640Two nurses and a doctor donned personal protective equipment before entering the hospital room to check on the young patient who was exhibiting signs of a highly infectious disease.

While the physician patiently talked with the child’s worried mother, the nurses checked the patient’s vitals and drew a blood sample to be tested for diseases such as Ebola, Lassa and Marburg fevers.

A lab technician dressed in personal protective equipment gathered the blood sample and took it to a nearby lab that would produce results within hours.

Meanwhile, the doctor and nurses worked with a team of medical professionals watching and advising from an adjacent room equipped with an observation window to keep the patient stabilized.

Fortunately, this was not a real scene at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus but a detailed simulation that recently occurred in the soon-to-be-finished special isolation unit.

In October, the state-of-the-art facility will open its doors and a Special Response Team will stand ready to receive children suspected of having a highly contagious disease.

“Having a special isolation unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus will allow our system to offer our exemplary medical care to a very vulnerable population,” said West Campus President Chanda Cashen Chacón. “We have made tremendous progress since announcing the project in December and are still working full speed ahead.”

Construction on the eight-bed unit is near completion with operational planning, team training and final construction progressing rapidly. The project is like no other at Texas Children’s since the special isolation unit will incorporate all of the latest scientific and technological approaches to biocontainment, including negative air pressure, laminar air flow, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration, separate ventilation, anterooms, biosafety cabinets, a specialized laboratory, special security access and autoclaves.

When complete, the unit will be fully equipped to care for any infant or child with a serious communicable disease, with all of the measures available to assure safety of the health care team, other patients and their families. The specialized biosafety level 3 laboratory will enable the care team to monitor the progress of patients and perform rapid detection methods to identify unusual pathogens.

Dr. Gordon Schutze will serve as medical director of the special isolation unit and Drs. Judith Campbell and Amy Arrington will be the unit’s associate medical directors. An elite volunteer-based team of experienced nurses and physicians – all of whom will have successfully completed an intensive advanced certification course and practicum in infection control, hospital epidemiology and management of infectious diseases in the critical care setting – will staff the unit.

Many members of the Special Response Team have been chosen, however recruitment for physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians and environmental services personnel is ongoing. To learn more about joining the Special Response Team, click here.

“The team that staffs this unit is key to making it successful,” Campbell said. “Many of our talented staff have stepped up to the plate to participate in this noble endeavor and we need more to raise their hands to volunteer.”

Another aspect of the unit that has recently ramped up is training and education. Led by Arrington, the training and education program for the special isolation unit is robust and has already included two almost full-day simulations. The first of which was a mid-construction simulation to assess any environmental issues important to the performance, health, comfort and safety of both our patients and our medical staff. The second simulation focused on clinical scenarios involving a patient suspected of having a highly contagious disease.

“The more we train the better off we will be in the event of an infected patient,” Arrington said. “It’s an ongoing process.”

When Cade Beasly’s parents got the news that their little boy was diagnosed with Osteo Sarcoma, it was a devastating moment that brought many fears. For nearly nine months, Cade underwent treatments that left him weak and tired. On May 27, Cade’s tests came back and he was finally declared cancer-free. He would no longer be spending hours at a time on the 14th floor of the Clinical Care Center as he endured pricks while receiving life-saving medications. Just a few weeks later, Cade was back for a special occasion. He was one of the first children to ring the end of treatment bell.

“It makes me so happy to see him ring that bell signaling the end of his treatment,” said Cade’s mom Jessica Peterson. “There are so many emotions when you reach the end of your child’s treatment, but this moment is definitely a happy one.”

Cade was there to join his friend Ethan Williamson who donated the bells, one on the inpatient cancer and hematology unit and one for the outpatient unit. Each Bell is placed next to a plaque that reads, “Let your strength and courage be felt by all, as this bell’s song fills this hall. For every time we hear this note, another life be filled with hope. Stay strong.”

The bells were unveiled during a ceremony within each unit that brought out patients, families and the cancer and hematology centers staff.

Purple Songs Can Fly artist and cancer survivor Christian Spear dedicated a song for the ceremony. Listen to the touching lyrics below.

72215ICD10640In less than 72 days, the codes that health care organizations use to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures will become standard across the globe. The federally-mandated conversion from ICD-9 to the expanded ICD-10 coding system will be implemented on October 1. This universal system will help us gather more accurate data, make more informed decisions and ultimately help us achieve better outcomes for our patients.

Texas Children’s ICD-10 preparedness teams have been working diligently for more than a year to ensure we are ready systemwide for this transition. We need you to be prepared as well. If you are a provider or a coder or work in any of the other impacted roles, make sure you complete the required training and education needed to ensure readiness.

Our goal is to reach 100 percent compliance by September 1, which is less than six weeks away.

Based on the latest education compliance statistics, we have a lot of work ahead of us to successfully achieve this organization-wide endeavor. Currently, 11 percent of Texas Children’s providers and 7 percent of nonclinical employees have completed their mandatory educational requirements. By educating ourselves over the next few weeks, the result will be a smooth transition come October 1.

Texas Children’s has partnered with Baylor College of Medicine to provide e-learning videos for our medical staff. Each clinical service area and identified departments have been assigned a self-paced learning module. The ICD-10 education team has prepared an area-specific curriculum for nonclinical employees that is available online through Health Stream.

To access the ICD-10 physician learning modules:
Go to www.healthstream.com/hlc/bcom.

Step 1: Enter your user name and password to log in:

  • Baylor providers – enter your current Baylor user ID and your employee identification number (typically a 5 or 6-digit number. If you need to reset your password, contact the Baylor Help Desk at 713-798-8737.
  • Texas Children’s and Texas Children’s Pediatrics providers – enter your NT login (Epic login). Then, enter this password: icd10. You will be prompted to reset your password.

Step 2: Access your specialty’s courses:

  • Select the My Learning tab at the top left of the screen
  • View the list of courses required for your specialty
    • Note: The assessment at the end of the course must be completed in order for the course to be marked as complete.
  • Optional: If you are interested in accessing other courses:
  • Click on the Catalog tab
  • Type in the specialty of interest to enroll in an additional course

All of the courses have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate section lead.
Note: CME credits are available for the general courses. These courses require a pre- and post-quiz to fulfill CME credits, and only on their completion will the courses be marked “complete.”

If you have questions with the Precyse learning modules, email Marcy Medlak at mamedlak@texaschildrens.org

To access the ICD-10 nonclinical learning modules:

To view, log into Health Stream (http://decisioncritical.ad.texaschildrenshospital.org/)

Step 1: Choose student/manager role. The courses are directly assigned to you.

Step 2: Click “Enroll in this course” to view.

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:

ICD-10 Video
ICD-10 Fact Sheet
ICD-10 Industry Updates
ICD-10 Myths and Facts

72215nursingeducation640Nurses from all over the organization are invited to join an around-the-clock nursing professional day designed to educate through knowledge sharing. The 24-hour event is a first-of-its-kind seminar-style program that allows nurses with expertise in specific areas to present, sharing their knowledge with their colleagues. The nursing professional day is aimed at improving patient care and promoting professional development and nursing excellence. It fosters collaboration and teamwork within the vast department of more than 2,700 nursing professionals.

The day was organized based on identified learning needs gathered from a survey sent out to nurses across the organization.

“The concept came about in order to educate and develop all nurses via ‘knowledge sharing’ on a global scale in a meaningful and impactful way,” said Leslie Morris, one of the event’s organizers. “The purpose of this day is to promote professional development of registered nurses throughout the organization.”

The sessions provide increased knowledge and clinical skills. Participants will receive up to six hours of CNE credit with no fees.

Various topics are approached by different nurses presenting to their colleagues from across the organization.

The sessions include:

  • Building Relationships
  • Workplace Civility
  • Team Collaboration
  • Crucial Conversations
  • Escalating Concerns
  • Delegation
  • Managing Conflicts
  • Team Building
  • Communication with patients and families
  • Specialty Certification
  • Nursing Portfolio
  • Risk Management
  • Legal Issues
  • Ethics in Care
  • Evidence Base Practice
  • Disease Management
  • Treatment Decisions
  • Quality Improvement
  • Documentation Practice
  • Standard of Care
  • Code Management
  • Patient and Family Education
  • Trauma

The day will be a come-and-go format and does not require registration. The 24 hour period is designed to encourage all nurses to join for as long or as little as they can throughout their workday or before and after work. The session is coordinated in the 24-hour format to allow both day and night nurses to take advantage.

Nursing professional day will be held from 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 29, to 8 a.m. Thursday, July 30, on the fourth floor of the Pavilion for Women.

Texas Children’s Hospital is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Texas Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

72215HHconference640On July 11, Texas Children’s Hospital and Hope for Hypothalamic Hamartomas hosted an educational conference to empower patients and their families affected by a rare and often devastating brain condition.

Hypothalamic Hamartoma (HH) is a noncancerous tumor of the hypothalamus that causes uncontrollable seizures, early puberty, hormonal imbalances and cognitive and behavioral problems. Seizures usually begin in infancy, most often as frequent, uncontrollable laughing spells (gelastic seizure), before different types of seizures emerge.

Texas Children’s neuroscience team along with Dr. Daniel Curry, Texas Children’s director of pediatric surgical epilepsy and functional neurosurgery, and Dr. Angus Wilfong, medical director of Texas Children’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, helped organize the HH Family Conference which featured insightful presentations from 11 experts from across the country who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases.

The conference provided valuable information about exciting research on the horizon and potential new treatments for HH patients, with the hopes of empowering families and caregivers to make educated treatment decisions for their loved ones.

Several guest speakers from Texas Children’s included Drs. Wilfong, Maria Grosch, Marcia Komlos-Kukreja, Michael Quach, Varina Wolf, and Curry, who delivered a presentation on laser ablation technology, a surgical procedure he and Wilfong helped pioneer to treat seizures in children with epilepsy and HH.

Ranked no. 2 in neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report, Texas Children’s is the first hospital in the world to use this real-time MRI-guided thermal imaging and laser technology to destroy brain lesions that cause epilepsy and uncontrollable seizures. Unlike a craniotomy – which removes a larger area of skull bone – the MRI-guided laser probe uses a much smaller pathway through the brain to reach a lesion. This minimally invasive surgery has resulted in promising outcomes for HH patients, with 78 percent of them being able to live seizure-free.

“Several of our families have been treated by this new laser ablation surgical procedure that Drs. Curry and Wilfong have worked hard to perfect on our high-risk patients,” said Lisa Soeby, president of Hope for Hypothalamic Hamartomas. “We are thankful for their dedication and passion for what they do and look forward to partnering with Texas Children’s Hospital in the future.”

In addition to providing informative sessions, the HH Family Conference also offered opportunities for families to meet others like them, who are impacted by this rare but treatable condition.

72215epileptologist640World renowned epileptologist Dr. Helen Cross and two of her colleagues visited Texas Children’s July 9 and July 10 to get more information on the Medtronic Visualase system, which uses real-time MRI-guided thermal imaging and laser technology to destroy lesions in the brain that cause epilepsy and uncontrollable seizures.

This product is not available in Europe, therefore Cross and the other clinicians from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children are exploring the feasibility of sending some of their patients to Texas Children’s Hospital for treatment.

Cross and Drs. Sophia Varadkar and Martin Tisdall met with representatives from the International Office and later joined neurosurgeon Dr. Daniel Curry and neurologists Drs. Angus Wilfong, Michael Quach and Anne Anderson for a tour of the Magnetoencephalography Lab at the Pavilion for Women, the 12-bed epilepsy monitoring unit and the Blue Bird Clinic for Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery. The group also donned scrubs and observed a visualase laser ablation case with Curry and Wilfong, who performed the first of such procedures at Texas Children’s four years ago.

The surgery is performed by first mapping the area of the brain where the lesion is located using magnetic resonance imaging. The catheter is inserted through the skull in the operating room and then the patient is transferred to an MRI unit where the ablation of the lesion is performed. The MRI confirms probe placement in the target, and the magnetic resonance thermal imaging allows the surgeon to see the ablation of the lesion by the laser heat as it happens with an automatic feedback system that shuts the laser off when the heat approaches nearby critical brain structures.

“While we have been successful in curing epilepsy through open cranial surgery for quite some time, the benefits of this new approach in reducing risk and invasiveness while providing instant therapeutic has opened the door for more epilepsy patients to see surgery as a viable option,” Curry said. “We were more than happy to share this information with Helen and her team and look forward to working with them and their patients in the near future.”

July 20, 2015

bench-and-beside-Header1Bench and Bedside is a digest of the previous month’s stories about the clinical and academic activities of our physicians and scientists. We welcome your subsmissions and feedback.

72115smallanimalinside300June 30

Blaney’s vision for SAIF helps advance research from bench to bedside

Texas Children’s Small Animal Imaging Facility (SAIF) at the Feigin Center has helped advance scientific investigations. The center allows for collaborations that lead to higher levels of innovative research within the Texas Medical Center. Read more

June 30

Dr. Hugh Allen receives distinguished award from the American Society of Echocardiography

Dr. Hugh Allen, pediatric cardiologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, was presented with the Council on Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Founders Award from the ASE. Allen received the prestigious accolade during ASE’s Annual Scientific Sessions. Read more

72115cainlab300June 30

Mid-year roundup: NRI publishes groundbreaking research in 2015

Texas Children’s scientific research writer Dr. Rajalaxmi Natarajan highlights some of the 2015 groundbreaking discoveries from the NRI labs of Drs. Benjamin Deneen, Hugo Bellen, Mirjana Malatic-Savatic and Anne Anderson, who continue to pioneer innovative treatments to improve the quality of life for children with devastating neurological diseases. Read more

June 30

Dr. Rachel Rau given Chao Physician-Scientist Award for Leukemia Project

Dr. Rachel Rau received the 2015 Chao Physician-Scientist Award for her project “Defining the Role of DOT1L in DNMT3A-Mutant Leukemia.” Read more

72115ParentAdviceApp250June 23

Texas Children’s Pediatrics launches new mobile health management app

Managing health care decisions and contacting your child’s provider just got easier thanks to Texas Children’s Pediatrics’ new mobile app. The ParentAdvice Center, available for free on iTunes and Google Play, will help families make smart decisions about the level of care needed for their children and offer information about providing symptom relief for minor illnesses or injuries at home. Read more






June 23

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) honors Texas Children’s Hospital alarm management team

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has given the AAMI Foundation & Institute for Technology in Health Care’s Clinical Solution Award to Texas Children’s Hospital alarm management team, which combined stakeholders from across the institution in partnership with an innovative healthcare analytics company, Medical Informatics Corp. The team used real-time data to drive decison and change conversations related to alarms to pave the way for quality improvement in the area. Read more

72115DrPeterHotez300June 16

Dr. Peter Hotez – US Science Envoy

Dr. Peter Hotez, who heads the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development, works with several leaders in his current position, and he’s recently added leader of the free world to that list. Hotez has been appointed to the role of U.S. Science Envoy by the White House and State Department. Read more

72115Maddie'sMissionCheck300June 16

Maddie’s Mission donates $40,000 plus to CMV awareness efforts, research

Maddie’s Mission, a Katy-based organization dedicated to educating people about a common virus that can cause a serious infection in your unborn baby, recently donated more than $40,000 to the CMV Research Fund to benefit congenital CMV research conducted at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. Read more

72115urgentcarecapture250June 16

Texas Children’s Urgent Care is on Facebook

Texas Children’s Urgent Care, now on Facebook, was created to respond to the growing need for expert pediatric urgent care. Read more







J72115AdelineRelease300une 9

Formerly conjoined twin, Adeline Faith Mata, joins family after being discharged from Texas Children’s Hospital

Formerly conjoined twin Adeline Faith Mata joined her family June 9 after being discharged from Texas Children’s Hospital. Her sister, Knatalye Hope, went home in May, less than three months after she and Adeline underwent a successful separation surgery. Dressed in matching striped pastel sundresses, the girls smiled for cameras capturing the monumental moment. They, along with their family, will stay in Houston for the next month before moving back to Lubbock. Read more

June 9

Dr. Arnold serves as ambassador to grassroots advocacy

Dr. Jennifer Arnold is serving as the face of Speak Now for Kids, a grassroots advocacy effort to get patient families and health care providers promoting issues that matter to pediatric patients. Arnold explains how you can help. Read more

June 9

Texas Children’s/AAP Member in Action: Dr. Julie Katkin

Texas Children’s pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Julie Katkin has been an active, engaged member of the American Academy of Pediatrics for several years. Learn how Texas Children’s partnership with the AAP helps physicians advocate for their patients. Read more

June 9

Pediatric anesthesiologist receives honor from Baylor College of Medicine

Texas Children’s Pediatric Anesthesologist and Baylor College of Medicine Associate Professor Dr. Olutoyin Olutoye recently received the college’s Rising Star Clinician award. Read more

June 9

Texas Children’s pediatric urologists honored by Society of Pediatric Urology

Dr. Jason Au was awarded the top prize for his case presentation, “Urologic Considerations in the Seapration of Conjoint Twins.” Dr. Chester Koh was appointed to serve a three year term on the Society for Pediatric Urology Executive Council. Read more