April 15, 2019

Texas Children’s MyChart has an electronic waitlist that automatically texts and emails families when appointments become available sooner. Over 2,100 patients have accepted an appointment an average 45 days earlier than their previously scheduled appointment.

Since implementing the electronic waitlist on MyChart in 2018, we’ve received positive feedback from our patients and families about the convenience of this new tool.

“My son’s original appointment was scheduled for September 4, but when I got an electronic notice via MyChart asking me if I wanted to accept an appointment in June, I accepted it,” said Monica Blancas. “While we usually go to the medical center for appointments, I didn’t mind driving a little further for my son’s appointment in Katy if it meant that I could get him in to see a doctor a lot sooner than scheduled.”

Click here for more information on how to opt in to receive New Wait List Offer text messages.

About Texas Children’s Patient Access Initiative

Launched in August 2017, Texas Children’s Patient Access Initiative is an on-going, collaborative effort to improve patient access across the organization. Since then, Texas Children’s has made significant progress to ensure patients easily and conveniently get in the door so we can provide the care they need, when they need it.

Click here for a list of other tools and features we’ve implemented across the system to improve access, care coordination and patient experience at Texas Children’s.

On April 2, in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, representatives from BBVA Compass Stadium, KultureCity and Texas Children’s Health Plan unveiled the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the stadium.

Located in the northeast corner of the stadium outside of Section 220, the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite includes a Sensory Room and a Mothers Room, making BBVA Compass Stadium the first sensory-inclusive facility in Major League Soccer. The Sensory Room was designed and installed in cooperation with KultureCity and Mothers Room at the BBVA Compass Stadium. KultureCity is the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to fight for inclusion and acceptance of all individuals, and advocates for those with sensory challenges such as autism and PTSD, just to name a few. It also provides training and equipment to public and private spaces in order to create an inclusive experience for everyone.

“KultureCity is truly honored to work with BBVA Compass Stadium and the Houston Dynamo to make them the first KultureCity Sensory-Inclusive MLS stadium. By recognizing this growing need and wanting to do something about it, they are truly putting their fans and guests first so that everyone regardless of their disabilities or sensory needs can be accepted and included,” said KultureCity co-founder Julian Maha, M.D. “This is a great day for the City of Houston and a great day for Major League Soccer in general. Thank you to the amazing team at the stadium and the entire Dynamo and Dash organization.”

The Mothers Room provides private space for mothers to nurse or pump while at the stadium and features seating for parent and child, as well as power outlets, a changing station and a television so mothers and children won’t miss a moment of game action.

In addition to the sensory room itself, the stadium will provide sensory bags created by KultureCity to guests who visit the space, and BBVA Compass Stadium and Houston Dynamo and Dash employees participated in sensory awareness training in order to understand how best to serve fans with unique needs and concerns.

“We take great pride in creating the most welcoming and inclusive atmosphere possible for all events at BBVA Compass Stadium, and we’re extremely excited about the addition of the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite,” said Stadium Executive Vice President and General Manager Juan Rodriguez. “The Mothers Room will provide a private and comfortable space for women to care for their young children, and the Sensory Room affords fans with sensory needs the opportunity to step away if the sights and sounds inside the stadium become too much for them. We’re very grateful to the experts at KultureCity for their assistance in creating the space and training our staff.”

Since 2011, Texas Children’s Health Plan has been the official health insurance plan for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) of the Houston Dynamo, Houston Dash and BBVA Compass Stadium. In addition to the new Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite, the health plan also sponsors the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Section, located in Section 201 on the southwest corner of the stadium.

“We are proud to be a sponsor of the Houston Dynamo and are very excited to be part of the new Sensory Room and Mother’s Room at BBVA Compass Stadium,” Vice-President of Texas Children’s Health Plan Sherry Vetter said. “This innovative space is consistent with our mission to create a healthier future for children and women throughout our global community. The dedicated Mother’s Room gives nursing moms a private place to care for their infants while staying connected to the match and the Sensory Room provides a sensory-sensitive space for parents and children to enjoy and engage in matches on their terms.”

Don’t miss out on the fun at the third annual Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. Registration for the event ends at 5 p.m. Monday, April 22, so hurry and sign up if you haven’t already. There are only about 500 more slots available, and they’re going fast.

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands will host the fun run at its campus on Saturday, May 4. The event will offer a 1-mile course and will begin at 9 a.m. Post-race activities will follow until 11 a.m.

Participants – including those who need walkers and wheelchairs – are welcome. There will not be prizes given to top finishers as all participants will receive an award for taking part in an event designed to educate and encourage Houston-area families to adopt active, healthy lifestyles.

Click here to register and learn more about the upcoming event.

Calling all volunteers

Volunteer registration also is open for our Family Fun Run event in The Woodlands! Opportunities are available for bag stuffing, packet pick-up, day before set-up and race day. Requirements include:

  • Volunteers must be registered in advance.
  • If someone volunteers, we ask that they be available for their full shift.
  • They should not bring young children or other family members that are not registered.
  • The minimum age to volunteer is 12.

A T-shirt will be provided to all volunteers to wear during their shift.

Click here for volunteer opportunities.

Thank you, good luck and happy running!

Mere months after opening its doors to patients and families for the first time, Texas Children’s Specialty Care Austin earned recognition from the Austin Chapter of the Associated General Contractors for outstanding construction.

The association selected Specialty Care Austin for its Outstanding Construction Award after considering the difficulty of construction, unusual techniques and the quality and appearance of the completed facility, Jill Pearsall, Vice President of Facilities Planning & Development and Real Estate Services, said. The group also praised how quickly and efficiently Texas Children’s and its partners were able to complete such a complex project – particularly as a new entrant in the Austin market.

The clinic currently comprises 26,000 square feet on the MoPac Expressway in the bustling north-central area of the city, with 30 exam rooms and facilities for subspecialty care including cardiology, ophthalmology, pulmonology, and allergy and immunology.

“We are thrilled to have this recognition as it represents the overall work of the amazing Austin project team and the quality of environment that Texas Children’s is bringing to Austin,” said Allison Muth, facilities project manager. “There is so much construction activity happening in the Austin area, and it’s an honor to have the specialty care project recognized as one of the best interior renovation projects in the area. We couldn’t have accomplished this without the support of our design and construction partners: McCarthy, Page and Transwestern.”

Texas Children’s employees also helped to design Specialty Care Austin by providing input on the functional needs of the space from the front-line perspective. Employee feedback was further incorporated into the construction and occupancy processes along the way.

The opportunity to help introduce Texas Children’s to a new city encouraged the project team to think outside the box while also maintaining the classic brand look and feel. They were intentional about partnering with local companies and vendors on the project to forge positive, new relationships.

“It’s pretty significant to be awarded in both the health care arena and construction arena at a facility in Austin, especially for our first time there,” Pearsall said. “You can walk through the clinic and see it is new and fresh with bright, updated colors and natural light; it stands out. We still have a lot of room to grow, but it’s a great location and setting, and our patients and families are in awe. This recognition from the Austin Associated General Contractors is a sign of our success so far.”

Drs. Muralidhar Premkumar (from left) and Melissa Carbajal, Neonatology faculty, congratulate third-year fellow Dr. Charles Roitsch (center), as the 24th annual Arnold J. Rudolph Memorial Grand Rounds award recipient. The award recognizes third-year fellows in neonatal-perinatal medicine for outstanding teaching, patient care, scientific inquiry and professional integrity. Dr. Patrick McNamara, a staff neonatologist and director of the Division of Neonatology at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, and professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, was this year’s invited speaker at the recent grand rounds. Dr. McNamara also is the current chair of the PanAmerican Hemodynamic Collaborative and Paediatric Academic Society Neonatal Hemodynamics Advisory.

The Arnold J. Rudolph Memorial Grand Rounds was established in 1996 by the Section of Neonatology, in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, in memory of its late Section Chief, Dr. Arnold J. Rudolph, who died in 1995. Dr. Rudolph was a well-respected clinician and educator, recognized internationally as a leader of neonatology.

April 9, 2019

At Texas Children’s, we care for some of the country’s most critically ill patients, and delivering safe, quality care for our patients is the most important responsibility of each staff member and employee.

As part of Texas Children’s continuing efforts to enhance patient safety across the system, employees and medical staff are encouraged to complete the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture by April 22. The survey will be sent via email and will measure Texas Children’s overall patient safety performance.

“Our clinical and non-clinical staff play an important role in patient safety at Texas Children’s and their input matters,” said Katie Basta, assistant director of Quality and Patient Safety. “The more feedback we have, the better we can plan for the future by identifying gaps and taking action. The survey also tells us what areas we’re doing well in – which is equally important – so that we can hardwire good practices.”

The survey assesses 13 dimensions of patient safety including communication openness, teamwork within and across individual work areas, overall perceptions of patient safety, frequency of safety events reported, and implementation of solutions to cultivate a work environment that promotes patient safety.

“Texas Children’s employees and medical staff – regardless of their job title or position – are crucial in helping us cultivate a harm-free environment for our patients,” said Texas Children’s Chief Safety Officer Dr. Joan Shook. “The survey takes only a few minutes to complete and is one important way we can assess how well Texas Children’s is performing. The feedback received will guide our strategies for continual improvement.”

The survey is administered every18- 24 months per regulatory requirement by Joint Commission. The survey takes about 10 minutes or less to complete. All responses will remain anonymous.

If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Jacobson with Patient Safety at 832-824-1310.

Texas Children’s is committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of our employees, our patients and their families. Supporting this commitment, Employee Health and Well-Being completes routine tuberculosis (TB) skin testing. All patient care providers and employees with indirect patient contact, should complete a TB skin test by July 1.

Please refer to the 2019 TB Testing Schedule for a complete schedule of testing dates, times and locations across Texas Children’s hospital campuses. Note, once the TB skin test has been placed, only trained, designated personnel can read results between 48 and 72 hours after placement.

Which Texas Children’s employees should receive a TB skin test?

Employees who have direct or indirect patient contact as detailed in their job description. Examples of employees within these groups:

Direct Patient Contact includes but is not limited to: nurses, medical assistants, patient care assistants, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, physicians and clinical leaders.

Indirect Patient Contact includes but is not limited to employees in the following departments: facilities, pharmacy and radiology, as well as clinical leaders and case managers.

For more information, please see sections 8 and 9 of the Tuberculosis Exposure Control Plan Procedure or visit the Employee Health Services page on Connect.

Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities will continue to complete paper TB skin test forms when they receive the TB skin test and must bring the form with them at the time of the TB skin read.

Which Texas Children’s employees do not need a TB skin test?
Employees who do not have any patient contact.
Employees who have already received a negative TB skin test in 2019.
Employees with a documented positive TB skin test. These employees will receive an email from Employee Health with instructions to complete a questionnaire through the Employee Health & Wellness Portal.

Employee Health will provide separate instructions to share with employees who do not work on a hospital campus. Employees who are unable to be tested on any of the provided dates can make individual appointments by calling Employee Health Services at 832-824-2150, option 2.

If you have any questions about TB testing at Texas Children’s, contact Employee Health at 832-824-2150, option 2.