November 5, 2019

On his blog, Mark Wallace continues his Leadership Maxim series with his second guest blogger, Tiffany Bittner, who writes about Maxim No. 2: Leadership applies to everyone. By commenting on Bittner’s blog – and the next three blogs in the Leadership Maxim series – you can secure a chance to score a spot at a Houston Texans event. Throughout November, the Corporate Communications team will randomly select 100 people from the comments to attend a private event with the Houston Texans, including a behind-the-scenes tour of NRG Stadium, an autograph session with two Houston Texans football players and photos with Texans cheerleaders. The event will be held on Tuesday, December 3. Read more

October 29, 2019

On his blog, Mark Wallace kicks off his Leadership Maxim series with his first guest blogger, Daniel Osmand, who writes about Maxim No. 1: Leadership always influences or determines outcomes. By commenting on Osmand’s blog – and the next four blogs in the Leadership Maxim series – you can secure a chance to score a spot at a Houston Texans event. Throughout November, the Corporate Communications team will randomly select 100 people from the comments to attend a private event with the Houston Texans, including a behind-the-scenes tour of NRG Stadium, an autograph session with two Houston Texans football players and photos with Texans cheerleaders. The event will be held on Tuesday, December 3. Read more

This fiscal year The West Campus Quality, Innovation, and Research Strategic Imperative team implemented two unique and informative events to engage and educate staff and providers on the importance of quality improvement work and its impact on improving patient care and outcomes.

“It stemmed from the four strategic imperatives for the organization, one of them being research quality and innovation,” Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Assistant Vice-President Matt Timmons said. “It’s really about awareness, and a celebration of the improvements that were made over the last year.”

On August 29, dozens of employees from all disciplines attended West Campus’ Quality Boot camp which was geared toward enhancing their Quality Improvement (QI) knowledge and skills through an interactive education session applying the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s quality tools listed below:

  • A Cause and Effect Diagram that helps you analyze the root causes contributing to an outcome.
  • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, which is a systematic, proactive method for identifying potential risks and their impact.
  • Run Charts and Control Charts that help monitor performance and visualize variation.
  • The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) worksheet that helps teams assess whether a change leads to improvement using a methodical learning process.

“I appreciate going through the steps as a group and then getting to apply the knowledge for our own project,” a participant commented in a follow up survey.

In addition to the boot camp, on October 10, West Campus hosted a Quality Showcase. This event gathered West Campus staff and providers to listen and discuss visual presentations that highlighted innovative solutions through quality projects that have had a positive impact on patient care, outcomes, and access

In alignment with the organization’s strategic requirements, the West Campus leadership developed these efforts to inform, motivate, and execute quality effectively.

“You have to practice quality,” Texas Children’s West Campus Assistant Director of Respiratory Care Clinic, Gboly Harris said. “With this initiative we want to ensure that everyone is aware of quality practices to ultimately improve outcomes for patients.”

Upon providing background information each presenter was asked to set sustainable goals in their areas, document the outcomes and preventative steps, and effectively expound on their model of care. Below are the 10 quality project focuses presented at the showcase:

  • Expanding West capacity through innovative solutions and transformational leaders
  • Preventing unplanned extubations together
  • Depression screening of inflammatory bowel disease patients
  • Alarm Fatigue
  • Standardizing ear, nose, and throat (ENT) education, post-op care of otolaryngology patients in acute care
  • MyChart activations
  • Swarm into sepsis: A collaborative approach in a pediatric community emergency center decreasing appointment no-show rates
  • Gastrostomy outcomes and improvement project and registered nurse training
  • Direct Admit Patient Project
  • Decreasing Appointment No Show Rates

“This showcase was encouraging to see people in their element, creating projects that they feel would be beneficial to other departments to have better quality of care for our patients,” Clinical Lead in Pediatric Surgical Services Caitlin Justus said. “Being able to have the opportunity to collaborate with others to gain tips on how we can succeed in our respective areas was very helpful.”

Following the showcase, Chief Quality Officer Dr. Eric Williams provided a few words to recap the information that was presented along with motivating employees to continue overcoming risk, meeting national guidelines and adopt other strategies they may have learned during those two hours.

“Patient safety is a large part of patient experience,” Williams said. “You cannot manage quality from one central space. It starts with your areas successfully providing tools to the rest of the campus that can ultimately enhance quality throughout the organization.”

Click here to learn more about each quality project.

On October 14, Texas Children’s Hospital Specialty Care – Sugar Land began seeing patients in its newly expanded Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinics located on the first floor.

This expansion makes it more convenient for patients to receive care and allows the staff to work in a more spacious area. Originally the clinic operated in two separate areas and today patients can receive x-rays and exams on the same floor. Orthopedic and Sports Medicine providers will move to the first floor, and the second floor will be for additional growth.

“It’s going to be a huge patient satisfier when it comes to our day-to-day flow,” Assistant Director of Ambulatory Services for the West and South Region, Betsy Sanford said. “Patients will no longer have to move from one floor to another to receive care, so we are all really excited for this new space.”

This is the first phase of the opening that includes eight exam rooms, a cast room with three spaces, two x-ray rooms, ultrasound, and a Quest Lab drawing station, for Texas Children’s Patients only.

One of the first patients seen was 17-year-old Marisa Garza who had been experiencing pain in her knees after years of performing difficult stunts on her local dance team.

“Her sophomore and junior years on the team she was required to execute moves that forced her to constantly slam on her knees to the ground, and over the years it has taken a toll on her,” her mother, Jessica Garza said. “As a former Texas Children’s employee and parent of patients over the past several years, I know first-hand the quality of care that is provided.”

Within the hour, Garza was checked in, her vitals were taken, and she was x-rayed and examined. With the additional space, the clinic expects to see more sports medicine patients once staff grows.

Texas Children’s Hospital Specialty Care locations provide many of the same pediatric subspecialty services available at our three hospital locations, just closer to home for patients and their families.

“It’s like having the Mark A. Wallace Tower in the community,” medical manager Allyson Jackson, RN, BSN said. “I really want people to understand how effective the clinic is for those that are in the community. The more we continue to grow, the more effective we can be.”

Phase two of this expansion is expected to open early next year and will include a new Sports Physical Therapy gym.

Click here for more information about the Specialty Care – Sugar Land and Texas Children’s Orthopedics.

In our effort to continue strengthening relationships in the Middle East, Texas Children’s International Services recently hosted “Embassy Night” in Washington, D.C.

Held on September 24 at the Morgan Lewis Building, embassy physicians, staff, and referral partners joined Texas Children’s International Services team members and Texas Children’s leaders in learning more about our services and what we have to offer to both children and women.

Vice President Ivett Shah, International Services Medical Director Dr. Armando Correa, Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Larry Hollier, Radiologist-in-Chief Dr. Thierry Huisman, Obstetrician and Gynecologist-in-Chief Dr. Michael Belfort, and Anesthesiologist-in-Chief Dr. Dean Andropoulos all attended and spoke at the event.

“This was a great opportunity to talk to referring physicians from all the Gulf embassies stationed in Washington, D.C.,” Shah said. “We wanted them to hear our physicians speak about the latest medical updates and to keep our organization top of my mind when they send patients to hospitals in the U.S.”

On average, Texas Children’s treats nearly 300 patients a year from the Middle East and – as a top-ranked pediatric hospital and one of the largest international patient programs in the nation – is a preferred partner to the embassies in the Middle East.

The Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) – the premier international society dedicated to the research and treatment of spinal deformities – recently honored Texas Children’s Chief of Orthopedics Dr. Brian Smith at the society’s 54th Annual Meeting, held in Montréal, Canada.

Smith received the Russell A. Hibbs Clinical Research Award, presented annually by the SRS for the meeting’s best clinical research paper. The title of the paper was “Using Proximal Humerus Ossification and Cobb Angle to Predict Progression to a Surgical Range in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Patients.”

The Hibbs Award is one of four main awards given by the SRS for basic and clinical research, and all are named for pioneers in scoliosis surgery. The SRS Program Committee selected nominees from submitted abstracts. Nominees were then invited to submit full manuscripts for review. The winners were selected based on a popular vote by meeting attendees and by committee scoring.

“I am very grateful to receive the 2019 Hibbs Award and to represent Texas Children’s Hospital in front of my peers in the SRS,” said Smith. “I would like to congratulate all my colleagues who did so much to make this happen, and I am looking forward to more research on this topic with my team at Texas Children’s.”

The paper was the result of collaborative research led by Smith and conducted with a team of experts at Yale School of Medicine. The team developed a classification system to assess skeletal maturity by analyzing proximal humerus ossification (the development of the bone of the upper arm) as seen on scoliosis patient X-rays. The study found that not only can skeletal development and maturity be reliably assessed using this system, but also that the system can be used in conjunction with other established methods to predict peak height velocity (the period when a child experiences their maximum upward growth) and the percentage of growth remaining with high accuracy. Coupled with scoliosis curve size, the system could be used as a means of predicting the risk of the patient’s potential curve progression to a surgical range during their remaining growth.

“Current systems that relied on X-ray imaging of the pelvis on scoliosis films to help determine skeletal maturation have not provided an accurate means of assessment for children with scoliosis,” Smith said. “This method has the potential to help us better define a patient’s maturity, which will help guide treatment choices and minimize cost and inconvenience of additional imaging to assess maturity.

Learn more about Texas Children’s Orthopedics Program, ranked in the top 10 nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

October 21, 2019

Six Texas Children’s employees were named 2020 Mark A. Wallace Catalyst Leadership Award winners. Learn more about Hilda, Natashia, Matthew, Lindsey, Bobbie, and Dr. Niedzwecki as they embark on this rewarding and meaningful new chapter of their Texas Children’s careers! The Catalyst Leadership Award was established a decade ago in honor of Mark Wallace’s 20th anniversary as president and CEO of Texas Children’s. Every year, the program honors outstanding individuals who lead by example, make the biggest possible difference, ensure the best possible outcomes and uphold Texas Children’s mission and core values.  Read more