April 23, 2019

Following Washington State Senator Maureen Walsh’s “card-playing” comment undermining the role of nursing, Amanda Wenger shares why every nurse at Texas Children’s should be proud of the work they do for our patients. Read more

April 22, 2019

Texas Children’s launched online scheduling in English and Spanish to allow current, new, and referred patients to schedule appointments via DocASAP, our online scheduling partner.

After clicking the online scheduling button on Texas Children’s homepage, patients are directed to the new texaschildrens.org/appointment page where they can view all scheduling options available. Patients also can access online scheduling directly from provider profiles and department pages.

Since implementing this feature, over 1,400 appointments have been scheduled online. This online scheduling service is available at Texas Children’s three campuses – Medical Center Campus, West Campus, and The Woodlands Campus – and our specialty care locations in Houston and Austin.

Texas Children’s is the only pediatric hospital of the top five on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll to offer this easy and convenient online scheduling tool for patients and their families.

Click here to watch a video tutorial on how to schedule appointments online at Texas Children’s.

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.

This week is Patient Experience Week at Texas Children’s, a time that we highlight and celebrate the compassion that we provide to patients daily.

The Purple Songs Can Fly documentary, “Journey to Hope,” was recognized with the Platinum Remi Award at the 2019 WorldFest-Houston.

“My father must have orchestrated this from heaven along with all the other angels watching over Mia, Layla, Dominic, Emily, Stephen and Christian,” said Anita Kruse, founder and executive director of Purple Songs Can Fly. “Thank you. Your love is eternal and shows us that hope is always here. This one’s for you.”

Purple Songs Can Fly, the first recording studio created on a pediatric cancer floor, was founded in 2006 at Texas Children’s Hospital. Thirteen years and thousands of songs later, six childhood cancer patients, Mia, Layla, Dominic, Emily, Stephen and Christian, come together as survivors to share “Journey to Hope,” an original musical featuring their own songs. Written and recorded in the Purple Songs Can Fly studio during their individual cancer journeys, these songs were created as a way to express the myriad of emotions and feelings a pediatric cancer diagnosis may bring.

“We were thrilled to be included in this year’s line up at WorldFest-Houston, alongside many other wonderful, independent films,” Kruse said. “It was a great stage for our story to be told, truly shining a light on pediatric cancer.”

Now in its 52nd year, WorldFest, the Houston International Film Festival, showcased more than 60 new independent feature films and more than 100 award-winning shorts from around the globe. The WorldFest mission is to recognize and honor outstanding creative achievement in film and video, while educating and introducing excellence in cinematic arts for the promotion of cultural tourism in Houston. Founded in 1961 as an international film society, it evolved into a competitive international film festival in 1968, and became the third such festival in North America, following San Francisco and New York.

“We’re so proud of Anita and the incredible patients who created such a beautiful film,” said Carol Herron, coordinator of the Periwinkle Arts In Medicine Program at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. “Purple Songs Can Fly has provided hundreds of patients and siblings the gift of sharing their journey through song, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to share this special piece with our community.”

To view the trailer, visit “Journey to Hope.” For more information about Purple Songs Can Fly, visit www.purplesongcanfly.org and for more information about 2019 WorldFest-Houston, visit www.worldfest.org.

April 15, 2019

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!

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.