Orthopedics leaps into top ten in the U. S. News and World Report survey

October 7, 2019


Texas Children’s Orthopedics Department jumped five spots from No. 15 to No. 10 in this year’s U.S. News and World Report survey.

The team worked quickly, relentlessly and collaboratively to achieve this ranking, a first for the Orthopedics department at Texas Children’s.

Service chief Dr. Brian Smith expressed his sentiments with the ranking, “The Orthopedics Division is thrilled and honored to be recognized as one of the top 10 Orthopaedic programs in the country. This is a tribute to our entire team of physicians, physician’s assistants, nurses and staff whose primary goal every day is to provide the best musculoskeletal care possible to our patients and families.”

But seriously, how did they move so far so fast?

Specifically, the Orthopedics Department accomplished four big wins for patients:

  • Gait Lab accreditation: Dr. Jeffery Shilt, chief surgical officer in The Woodlands, led efforts to ensure that our Gait Lab was accredited as a clinical motion laboratory. The Texas Children’s Hospital Gait Lab received this accreditation in record time after opening, providing exceptional care to patients with movement disorders.
  • Continuing education: 100 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants received pediatric orthopedic surgery related continuing education units. Janai’ Buxton, manager of Advanced Practice Providers in Orthopedics is proud of this dedication to education, saying, “Such education ensures our APPs are providing the very best current, evidence-based care for patients.”
  • Scoliosis outcomes: The spine surgery team implemented several changes, including a multi-disciplinary meeting, to reduce unplanned readmissions and reoperations for complex scoliosis surgery patients.
  • Gap closures: The team worked together to close out 90 percent of gaps related to the department structure.
Deserved recognition

The dedication and leadership of Dr. Larry Hollier, surgeon-in-chief, Dr. David Wesson, interim chief of Orthopedics, and Rachel Warfield, Director of Surgical Ambulatory Services, helped the team accomplish this ranking. Additional recognition goes to the many physician champions who led efforts to improve quality as well as the data team led by Ken Kocab and Debasis Dash.

The Orthopedics department sees this accomplishment as a testament to all the hard work that has been done to improve patient quality and access to care over the past several years.