January 3, 2018

Now that the holidays are over and many of us are getting back into our daily routine, we asked Texas Children’s employees to share their New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

Three weeks from now, a Magnet® appraiser team will visit Texas Children’s facilities for a site visit, which represents a huge milestone in the hospital’s journey towards achieving Magnet® re-designation.

Since 2003, Texas Children’s has been a Magnet-designated organization. Every four years, the hospital applies for Magnet® re-designation, which is the highest and most prestigious recognition provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and reflects our commitment to excellent patient care.

From January 22 to 24, 2018, Magnet® appraisers will conduct a site visit at Texas Children’s, which is one of the many required steps to obtain Magnet® re-designation. The site visit will allow nurses and the entire health care team to engage with the Magnet® appraisers, share their exceptional achievements, highlight our great partnership, exceptional care delivery and collaboration to enhance patient outcomes.

Last month, we launched a special series on Connect highlighting what employees “need to know” regarding this important site visit. This week, we answer the following two questions:

  1. What can you expect if you encounter one of the Magnet® appraisers on site?
    The Magnet® appraiser will be accompanied by a staff nurse. They will be going to every clinical area (unit or clinic) that nurses practice. The Magnet® appraiser will typically ask questions about how patient care is delivered at Texas Children’s, and how others interface with nursing staff. Be prepared to discuss how you collaborate with nurses to provide patient care. Be open and honest, and discuss the work that you do every day at Texas Children’s.
  2. How were we able to reach this milestone (a Magnet site visit) in the re-designation process?
    The 10-month Magnet® re-designation process required tremendous collaboration among many departments across the organization including Nursing, Quality and Safety, Nursing Clinical Informatics, Human Resources, Information Services (IS), Patient and Family Services and Marketing.

In January 2016, Chief Nursing Officer Mary Jo Andre in collaboration with our Magnet® team, nursing, and the interprofessional team across the organization, reviewed each Magnet® standard with our consultant and aligned the submitted source of evidence examples to the Magnet standards. Every other month we had a three-day Magnet® writers workshop for our Magnet writing team who developed the Texas Children’s Hospital exemplars that contributed to our system-wide achievements. Necessary materials and documentation were included in our Magnet® website.

Click here for answers to the previous questions featured in the Magnet® “what you need to know” series.

To access and review the written documentation submitted to Magnet®, click here. To learn more about the ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program®, click here.

Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark A. Wallace is committed to meeting every employee at Texas Children’s, and one way he does that is during his new employee reception.

This past reception was filled with team spirit, Texas Children’s pride, and a high-energy atmosphere as the reception has been re-branded into a New Employee Pep Rally! During the Pep Rally, new employees had the opportunity to hear from and meet Wallace while celebrating Texas Children’s employees, staff and culture.

The pep rally style reception falls in line with Texas Children’s recently rebranded new employee orientation called Texas Children’s Hi.

More than 500 new employees were invited to attend the Pep Rally on November 27 and from the moment team members arrived, they shared their excitement to be with Texas Children’s! Red foam fingers, megaphones, and pom-poms helped fire up team spirit, while pictures of each Texas Children’s Hi class scrolled like a virtual “Yearbook” for all attendees to enjoy.

New employees, leaders, and assigned “buddies” mixed, mingled, and snapped selfies around the room. To close the event, team captain – Wallace – celebrated what our team had accomplished and what’s ahead as our one amazing team keeps growing!

Congratulations 2017 Armadillo Class!

We understand that the start of a new year brings new motivation to focus on your own health and well-being, and Texas Children’s is committed to supporting you in achieving your wellness goals. Since May 2015, more than 1,000 employees have taken advantage of our partnership with Weight Watchers. There are at-work lunchtime meetings at three Texas Children’s locations: Main Campus, The Woodlands, and Health Plan. Now, we are incredibly excited to highlight a new program, Weight Watchers Freestyle.

How does Weight Watchers Freestyle work?

WW Freestyle makes deciding what to eat much easier, freeing you to focus on what really matters in your weight-loss journey: nourishing your whole self and doing more of the things that you enjoy. The program is personalized based on your age, height, weight and gender to ensure you receive sufficient energy and nutrients.

The core of the program is based on the latest nutritional science and Weight Watchers has kept the SmartPoints system. Every food and drink is still on the menu. Now, more than 200 foods have a SmartPoints value of 0, including some surprises like chicken, fish, eggs, corn, beans and more! The best part is that zero-point foods don’t need to be tracked or measured, so you can spend less time counting and more time enjoying your food and your life.

WW Freestyle also introduces rollover points. For many people, Mondays are pretty different from Saturdays when it comes to eating. Rollovers give you flexibility to use fewer SmartPoints values one day and have up to four extra points rolled over into your bank for the days you need them the most.

For frequently asked questions about the Weight Watchers Freestyle program, click here.

As part of our partnership with Weight Watchers, Texas Children’s employees are eligible to receive the following:

  • 50 percent off monthly at-work and community meetings pass
  • 50 percent off monthly online pass
  • Ability to attend unlimited at-work or community meetings
  • Optional weekly, confidential weigh-ins to help you stay accountable
  • eTools to track points and activity, browse recipes and receive social support
  • 24/7 online chat support
Ready to enroll?

In the past several weeks, Texas Children’s has seen an increase in confirmed flu cases among both our patients and employees. In order to prevent the spread of infection and protect yourself and others from the flu, please remember to perform the following good health habits:

  • Stay home when you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • If you begin to feel sick with flu-like symptoms while at work, please call the Employee Medical Clinic at 832-824-2424.
  • When possible, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home and at work, especially when someone is ill.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

For more tips on preventing the flu, visit CDC Flu Prevention.

The single best way to prevent the flu or reducing the severity of the illness is getting vaccinated. Please contact Employee Health at 832-824-2150, option 2, for more information.

Flu Vaccine participation update

We are pleased to announce that Texas Children’s has achieved a 91 percent flu vaccination rate, with 11,712 employees receiving the vaccine to date. Although we are excited to reach this level of participation, we still want to encourage employees to get vaccinated. It is not too late!

If you elect to decline the flu vaccine this year, you are required to complete a 2017 Flu Declination Form. Prior to completing the declination form, review the Flu Vaccine Information Statement (VIS). The declination form can be found on the Employee Health and Wellness Portal. Follow these instructions:

  • Go to the Employee Health and Wellness Portal.
  • Proceed and log in. If this is your first time logging into the portal, please click “Having trouble logging in” to reset your password.
  • Once you log in, click on the “Forms” tab, then select the 2017 – Flu Declination Form.

For a visual guide to logging onto the portal, click here.

As a reminder, staff who do not receive their flu vaccine should wear a surgical mask when providing direct patient care services for the duration of the flu season. See Required Influenza Vaccination Policy and Procedure for more details.

Thank you for getting your flu vaccine and following good health habits to prevent the spread of germs to your patients and colleagues.

Texas Children’s employees kicked off the holiday season with camaraderie and joy by participating in the organization’s annual bread and wassail tradition. Employees enjoyed delicious holiday bread and wassail served by our leaders earlier this month. Please view the photo gallery below to see photos of the festivities.