Methodist Children's Hospital

  • Location: San Antonio, TX
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: June 2013

The Methodist Children's Hospital, a campus of Methodist Hospital, journey to excellence in patient experience began in late 2006 with the arrival of current CEO, J. Mark McLoone, FACHE. Starting from a baseline composite satisfaction score in the 53rd percentile in 2007, the hospital amazingly shot up to the 97th percentile in 2009, and has remained in the top decile for the last four years, ending 2012 again at the 97th percentile.

McLoone attributes this success to the extraordinary passion, action focus and accountability of his leadership team, beginning with Ann Winn, FACHE, who was promoted to the position of Chief Nursing Officer of Methodist Children's Hospital in 2009, and extending to all the hospital directors and staff. Mark also credits the medical staff, led by Ray Stefko, M.D., who has been Chief of Staff since January 2012, recognizing them for the instrumental role they have in the success of Methodist Children's Hospital. Building upon a foundation of respectful treatment of team members, and with consistently strong scores in the family's evaluation of physician communication, the family focused team of doctors, nurses, ancillary, support and other staff all work together to assure an optimal patient and family experience.

"We connect our staff to purpose from their initial orientation. Emphasis is on their role in assuring an outstanding patient and family experience as they utilize the various tactics our friends at The Studer Group have assisted us with including AIDET, the 10-5 rule and many others. I am a strong believer in the importance of a respectful work environment and this has been a guiding principle throughout our pursuit of excellence," said McLoone. "It is the great work of our entire team that has made these results achievable and sustainable."

The accomplishments of Methodist Children's Hospital extend to their Emergency Department (ED) which remains a shining example of the hospital's overall success. The ED's patient volume exceeded 73,000 visits in 2012, up from 66,000 in 2011. It is one of the busiest "just for children" emergency departments in the nation. Despite this very high patient volume, the Methodist Children's Hospital ED has ranked No. 1 for patient experience, among all emergency departments in its peer group for four quarters during the last two years.

Methodist Children's Hospital is a relatively young children's hospital. Opening 15 years ago, Methodist Children's Hospital has grown extraordinarily and is now the largest provider of pediatric health services (as measured by market share) in the seventh largest city in the United States. San Antonio is a very competitive pediatric service environment in which children's care is provided by several hospitals. Emphasizing the importance of the patient experience in such a market has contributed to the hospital's growth as families increasingly choose Methodist Children's Hospital for the care of their loved ones.

"How do we sustain these high scores? The leadership team at Methodist Children's Hospital has hardwired nurse leader rounding and we focus our time on action items. We don't hold a bed huddle where only problems and grievances are aired, but rather we are focused on identifying solutions in real time," said Winn.

"When we identify a gap in services, we respond quickly. Leadership rounding has been effective in helping us identify gaps and resolve any issues before the patient leaves the hospital. As a pediatric hospital, we're in a unique position because the child is our patient but the parents and family are the ones defining and interpreting the patient experience," Winn added.

The journey to achieving and sustaining outstanding patient experiences has been gratifying for employees and medical staff at every level of the organization. "We are proud of the positive difference we have made in our community. On behalf of the staff and physicians at Methodist Children's Hospital, we are deeply honored to be chosen as Studer Group's Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month and thank you for this recognition," concluded McLoone.

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