November 19, 2018

After the grand opening over two months ago, Texas Children’s 12th urgent care clinic, the second of which is located near a Texas Children’s Emergency Center has exceeded expectations.

“We are thrilled with the strong start our West Campus Urgent Care has had so far,” Director of Business Operations for the Urgent Care, Roula Smith said. “It definitely reaffirms that this was the right decision for our patients, as we provide the right care, at the right place, at the right time, at the right cost.”

On September 11, located next to the Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Emergency Center, the clinic opened to help manage the Emergency Center’s low-acuity patient population and to serve patients and families in the West Houston area.

From opening through the end of October, the clinic has seen nearly 3,000 patients. Approximately one third of the patients are Texas Children’s Health Plan (TCHP) members. This helps TCHP members have access to the same high quality care but in a more cost effective environment. More than half of the patients seen at Texas Children’s Urgent Care West Campus have been self-select patients, who are not presenting via the Emergency Center but arrive to the clinic voluntarily.

This collaboration with the Emergency Center offers a quicker and less expensive option for low-acuity patients. The number of patients that leave the Emergency Center without being seen has been reduced by 80 percent during operating hours.

“In addition to being a win for our patients, it is a win for the Texas Children’s system as a whole,” Smith said. “We know that our colleagues in the Emergency Center are able to take care of higher acuity patients and our TCHP members are receiving care in the right environment for their needs.”

Prior to the clinic opening, the “Save My Spot” feature launched which allows patient families to reserve a time slot at the clinic from the comfort of their own home. This feature is live and wait times are also posted on the website so families know how long it will be before they are seen. Nearly 200 families have used this feature so far and the average cycle time for clinic visits is approximately an hour.

“Urgent care has been the perfect addition to the West Campus,” Assistant Vice President at West Campus Sara Montenegro said. “We have the full spectrum of care available – primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergent care, surgery, and inpatient care, available in close proximity to each other now, and we are seeing very strong patient arrivals in our Urgent Care & Emergency Center, with this new addition. We knew this was a need in the community, and it is exceeding expectations!”

For more information about Texas Children’s Urgent Care and its locations, click here.

September 10, 2018

On September 11, Texas Children’s opened its 12th urgent care clinic, the second of which is located near a Texas Children’s Emergency Center.

The recently opened urgent care is located next to the Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Emergency Center to help manage the Emergency Center’s low-acuity patient population and to serve patients and families in the West Houston area. The care team includes front office staff, nurses and clinical support staff, and board certified pediatricians and pediatric-focused advanced practice providers.

At 4,250 square feet, the clinic has 11 exam rooms, an X-ray room, and a spacious waiting area covered in murals, providing a relaxing, child-friendly atmosphere.

“A strong collaboration between this Urgent Care and the Emergency Center is going to be critical,” said Sara Montenegro, assistant vice President at West Campus. “It has been great so far as we have simulated ahead of time and practiced best and worst case scenarios to make sure we are as prepared as possible.”

This collaboration with the Emergency Center offers a quicker and less expensive option for low-acuity patients. To be seen at the clinic, patients can go directly there or be transferred from the Emergency Center after being assessed. If they are transferred, patients and their family members will be escorted to the clinic’s location.

“We are very excited to be out here at West Campus,” said Gary Macleod, the clinic’s director of clinical operations. “Hospital-based urgent cares are always really exciting for us. The ability to work hand-in-hand with the hospital makes us more effective.”

The West Campus Urgent Care is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. The “Save My Spot” feature, which allows patient families to reserve a time slot at the clinic from the comfort of their own home, is live and wait times are also posted on the website so families know how long it will be before they are seen. Electronic check in is also available to expedite the registration process and potentially aid in lowering wait times.

“Our mantra is to ensure that patients are getting the right care, at the right place at the right time, and with us specifically, at the right cost,” said Roula Zoghbi Smith, director of Business Operations for the Urgent Care. “The urgent care is typically a more cost effective option for families, than seeking care in the Emergency Center, which is always appreciated.”

For more information about Texas Children’s Urgent Care and its locations, click here.

June 5, 2018

In an effort to better serve patients seeking care at one of 10 Texas Children’s Urgent Care sites, wait times for each location have been posted on the Urgent Care website.

“Our goal is to be completely transparent to our families as to how long it takes for them to be seen,” said Melissa Fischer, director of community and business development for Urgent Care and Texas Children’s Pediatrics. “For families that live in between two locations, we believe that posting wait times will help our families choose which site to visit.”

The information also will help manage expectations around wait times, which average about 17 minutes from check-in to being taken to a patient room. Patients spend about 60 minutes from check-in to check-out.

The wait time feature on the Urgent Care website is automatically updated every five minutes based on the number of providers who are seeing patients and the number of patients who have checked in.

The feature was piloted at Texas Children’s Urgent Care Pearland and was then implemented in Austin. As of May, online wait times are available for all Urgent Care locations.

Save My Spot is also available to patients and families visiting one of our Urgent Care locations, allowing them to reserve a time slot from the comfort of their own home. All the patient family member has to do is pre-register online and the check-in process is expedited. Their personal information is also pre-populated which makes the process easier for existing patients.

“Patients and their families now look for ease and convenience in every aspect of their lives,” said Roula Smith, director of Urgent Care business operations. “You are able to save a spot at places like the DMV and restaurants, why not at Urgent Care?”

Smith added that, Save My Spot allows Urgent Cares to stay competitive as well as evenly distribute patients throughout the day to be more efficient overall.

Save My Spot also was piloted at the Pearland location, and is now available at all Urgent Care locations. More than 600 patients have used the feature to date.

Welcome, an electronic check-in process, is another feature that has been created to expedite the registration process. Check-in is done on an electronic tablet, making the experience paperless. This feature is expected to be rolled out to all Urgent Care locations soon.

Texas Children’s Urgent Care was launched in 2014 and currently has 10 locations, all of which are staffed by board certified pediatricians who diagnose and treat a wide variety of ailments, illnesses and conditions, including: asthma, strep throat, fever, minor burns, influenza, ear infections, allergic reactions and more. Procedures provided include: antibiotic injections, breathing treatments, fracture care and splinting, IV (intravenous) fluids, lab services, laceration repair and X-rays onsite.

For more information about Texas Children’s Urgent Care and its locations, click here.

March 13, 2018

Texas Children’s marked the beginning of an exciting chapter in its history Thursday when President and CEO Mark A. Wallace joined other organization leaders in celebrating the opening of Texas Children’s Urgent Care Westgate – the first Texas Children’s location in Austin.

“It’s great to be in Austin,” Wallace said during a private ribbon cutting ceremony for clinical staff and Texas Children’s leaders. “We can’t wait to serve the children, women and families of the greater Austin area.”

View event photos below.

Texas Children’s leaders announced in June their plan to open a pediatric-focused urgent care in Austin, with the goal of supplementing the great health care options already available to the community and improve access to care, at nights and on weekends, in a convenient location. Texas Children’s Urgent Care Westgate at 4477 South Lamar Blvd. is modeled after other Texas Children’s urgent care facilities, all of which are located in the Greater Houston area and offer high-quality, efficient and affordable pediatric care at a convenient location.

Open Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m., Texas Children’s Urgent Care Westgate is staffed by board certified pediatricians who diagnose and treat a wide variety of ailments, illnesses and conditions, including: asthma, strep throat, fever, minor burns, influenza, ear infections, allergic reactions and more. Procedures to be provided include: antibiotic injections, breathing treatments, fracture care and splinting, IV (intravenous) fluids, lab services, laceration repair and X-rays onsite.

“As we all know, children are not simply tiny adults; their medical care, as well as the tools and equipment used, should be designed specifically to meet their needs,” said Dr. Lisa Gaw, lead physician at Westgate. “This is why it is important children are seen and treated by the experts trained to care for them. We are proud to have created a place local pediatricians and caregivers can feel confident sending their children knowing they will be well cared for by experts specially trained in treating kids.”

Texas Children’s opened its first urgent care facility in 2014 and has since seen tremendous success in getting pediatric patients where they need to be to receive the proper treatment for their illness or injury, decreasing the number of low-acuity cases at Texas Children’s emergency rooms.

In addition to opening Texas Children’s Urgent Care Westgate, Texas Children’s plans to open additional pediatric urgent care clinics, primary care pediatric practices, pediatric specialty care locations and maternal-fetal medicine practices across Austin over the next five years.

“This opening is the first step in a thoughtful plan Texas Children’s has in place to bring pediatric-focused care to Austin in a way that will help us serve the state of Texas even more successfully,” said Executive Vice President Michelle Riley-Brown, who leads Texas Children’s community and outpatient strategy. “We aspire to collaborate with the many established pediatric providers in the region to help support the growing Austin market, and see our growth in the area as an extension of our mission to ensure women and children have access to exceptional health care close to home.”

To learn more about Texas Children’s efforts in Austin, click here, and to find out more about Texas Children’s Urgent Care, click here.

February 27, 2018

With the opening of its first urgent care clinic in Austin just one week away and plans rapidly progressing to open its first specialty care location in October, Texas Children’s recently hosted two town hall meetings at main campus to share more details with interested employees about available positions and how they can apply, transfer and relocate to the capital city.

Additional town hall meetings on the Austin expansion will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday, March 19, in the conference center at West Campus and from noon to 1 p.m., Friday, March 23, in the conference center at The Woodlands. Health Center and Specialty Care Center employees can participate in the town halls from their local conference rooms via telemedicine.

“Our employees at Texas Children’s are our strength,” said David Wykes, director of Employee Relations and HR Community. “That’s why we really encourage the internal transfer option. You know the organization, and you know our great culture that we want to translate to Austin.”

Texas Children’s will launch its specialty care services in a two-floor, 51,000-square-foot facility in north-central Austin, with 400,000 pediatric lives located within a 30-minute drive. There will be 17 providers representing 11 medical and surgical sub-specialties to start, as well as x-ray, ultrasound and neurology, pulmonary and cardiology testing.

Nearly 40 specialty care positions will open throughout this fiscal year – from outpatient staff RNs, ambulatory service representatives and medical assistants, to certified ophthalmic technicians, radiology and ultrasound specialists, ECHO sonographers, a social worker, clinical dietician and more. A full list of available positions can be found in the Town Hall section on the new Austin page on the Careers website, along with answers to frequently asked questions and other resources. All job openings will be posted internally before being announced to external candidates, giving Texas Children’s employees the first opportunity to apply.

To be considered for internal transfer, employees must meet the eligibility requirements detailed in the Internal Transfer Policy and fulfill the minimum qualifications for their desired position. Relocation assistance will be offered to employees to provide additional support for their move to Austin, and those selected for transfer will enjoy the same benefits packages, compensation model and salary structure as they have at Texas Children’s locations in Houston and Harris County.

Vice President Ivett Shah told town hall attendees that employees interested in transferring to Austin must be flexible enough to handle the changes that will come as Texas Children’s continues to evolve and expand in the new market. Several additional urgent care clinics, specialty care locations, primary care practices and maternal-fetal medicine practices are slated to open across the city over the next five years.

“The demands of patients and families in Austin are different than those we have in Houston, so we have to look at new and creative ways of delivering care,” Shah said. “We want our employees, staff, physicians and patients in Austin to feel they are part of the Texas Children’s system. We want them to feel connected.”

For more information, visit the Austin careers page; attend the town hall meetings scheduled in March at The Woodlands and West Campus; or contact attend the town hall meetings scheduled in March at The Woodlands and West Campus; or contact Bobbie Jehle at 936-267-5823.

January 23, 2018

Texas Children’s Hospital is proud to announce the opening of its ninth Texas Children’s Urgent Care clinic. Located at 12620 Woodforest Blvd., Suite 160, Texas Children’s Urgent Care East offers high-quality, efficient and affordable pediatric care at a convenient location.

Texas Children’s Urgent Care East is open Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. The clinic is staffed by board certified pediatricians who diagnose and treat a wide variety of ailments, illnesses and conditions, including: asthma, strep throat, fever, minor burns, influenza, ear infections, allergic reactions and more. Procedures provided include: antibiotic injections, breathing treatments, fracture care and splinting, IV (intravenous) fluids, lab services, laceration repair and X-rays onsite.

Oftentimes, families turn to an emergency center after hours, on weekends or perhaps even during the day, when a significant event occurs with their child. Though the emergency center is the right place for some incidents or ailments, the majority of the time minor illnesses can and should be treated at a pediatric urgent care facility.

Texas Children’s Urgent Care accepts major insurance plans and has self-pay rates, which are less than emergency center charges, and there are no hospital fees. A complete list of insurance plans is available on the website. Texas Children’s Urgent Care specializes in after-hours care, but does not replace the need for children to have a general pediatrician. Routine physical exams and vaccinations are services that should be obtained from a general pediatrician, and these services are not available at Texas Children’s Urgent Care.

Texas Children’s Urgent Care has eight additional convenient locations:

  • Cinco Ranch, 9727 Spring Green Blvd., Suite 900 Katy, TX 77494, 281-789-6300
  • Memorial, 12850 Memorial Drive, Suite 210 Houston, TX 77024, 832-827-4000 Memorial
  • The Woodlands, 4775 W. Panther Creek Drive, Suite C300 The Woodlands, TX 77381, 281-417-0870
  • Main Campus, 6621 Fannin, Suite 2240 Houston, TX 77030, 832-824-2000
  • Pearland, 2701 Pearland Parkway, Suite 190, Pearland, TX 77581, 281-485-6400
  • The Vintage, 10420 Louetta Road, Suite 104, Houston, TX 77070, 281-251-0269
  • Fairfield, 28070 Highway 290, Suite 100, Cypress, TX 77433, 281-758-4770
  • The Heights, 2200 Yale Street, Houston, TX, 77008, 713-861-6104

For more information about Texas Children’s Urgent Care, click here.

To prepare for the opening of Texas Children’s Urgent Care Westgate in Austin, Texas Children’s has opened a Welcome Center adjacent to the future urgent care site on the south side of Austin. The Welcome Center is being used for human resources and philanthropy. It also will serve as a means to create brand awareness for Texas Children’s in the Austin community.

The new office, located at 4477 South Lamar Blvd., opened January 8 and is primarily being used to recruit future employees and on-board staff. The space will not be used for clinical services.

“We are very excited to have this new office in Austin,” said Texas Children’s Executive Vice President Michelle Riley-Brown. “It marks our entrance into the fastest growing city in America with a pediatric population of almost a half a million.”

Texas Children’s Urgent Care Westgate is scheduled to open in March and will be modeled after Texas Children’s other urgent care facilities, all of which are located in the Greater Houston area and offer high-quality, efficient and affordable pediatric care at a convenient location.

Open Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m., the clinic will be staffed by board certified pediatricians who diagnose and treat a wide variety of ailments, illnesses and conditions, including: asthma, strep throat, fever, minor burns, influenza, ear infections, allergic reactions and more. Procedures to be provided include: antibiotic injections, breathing treatments, fracture care and splinting, IV (intravenous) fluids, lab services, laceration repair and X-rays onsite.

“Oftentimes, families turn to an emergency center after hours, on weekends or perhaps even during the day, when a significant event occurs with their child,” said Kay Tittle, president of Texas Children’s Urgent Care. “Though the emergency center is the right place for some incidents or ailments, the majority of the time minor illnesses can and should be treated at a pediatric urgent care facility.”

Texas Children’s opened its first urgent care facility in 2014 and has since seen tremendous success in getting pediatric patients where they need to be to receive the proper treatment for their illness or injury, decreasing the number of low-acuity cases at Texas Children’s emergency rooms.

In addition to opening Texas Children’s Urgent Care Westgate, Texas Children’s plans to open additional pediatric urgent care clinics, primary care pediatric practices, pediatric specialty care locations and maternal-fetal medicine practices across Austin over the next five years.

“Making sure women and children have access to exceptional health care close to home is why we have hospitals in Katy and The Woodlands and nearly 80 Texas Children’s primary care and urgent care practices, specialty care centers, maternal-fetal medicine clinics and other health care locations throughout Greater Houston,” Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark A. Wallace said. “And that is why we are bringing Texas Children’s to Austin, Texas.”

Click here to read Wallace’s blog post about why Texas Children’s is moving into Austin.