Methodist Healthcare

  • Location: San Antonio, TX
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: July 2010

Methodist Healthcare is the largest health care system in South Texas, providing quality health care to residents of San Antonio and cities in the 26 surrounding counties. The System is comprised of 24 facilities, eight of which are acute care hospitals: Methodist Ambulatory Surgery Hospital, Methodist Children’s Hospital*, Methodist Heart Hospital*, Methodist Hospital, Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital*, Methodist Stone Oak Hospital, Metropolitan Methodist Hospital* and Northeast Methodist Hospital*.

The hospital System is an equal partnership between HCA and Methodist Healthcare Ministries, the largest non-governmental and private funder of community health care services in South Texas. This equal partnership has accomplished major advancements in access and quality of care for South Texans, particularly the under served. The System leads the market in the delivery of charity care, with charity discounts totaling over $129 million in 2009. Methodist Healthcare also leads the market in preference for inpatient care, and perception of Best Quality, Best Doctors, Best Nurses, Best Reputation and Best Patients Safety (January/April 2010, National Research Corporation, Healthcare Market Guide).

Methodist Healthcare is the area’s second largest private employer with more than 7,500 employees and over 2,500 physicians have privileges throughout the System.

Methodist has a reputation for quality care and leads the market in many product lines including: oncology, transplant, cardiology, pediatrics, neurology and obstetrics.

Since opening its first hospital in 1963, Methodist Healthcare remains committed to its mission of "Serving Humanity to Honor God" while reaching out to meet the growing needs of the community.

* A Methodist Hospital Facility

Methodist Healthcare has implemented many key initiatives since the adoption of Methodist Excellence in 2007:

  • Rounding
  • 10/5 Rule
  • Thank You Cards
  • Post Visit Calls
  • Key Words
  • Managing Up
  • Stop Light Reports
  • High/Middle/Low Evaluations
  • Communication Boards
  • Standards of the Month
  • Quarterly Leadership Conferences
  • Leader Evaluation Manager
  • Employee Recognition Events

Our Commitment to Methodist Excellence


  • Improved overall employee engagement scores significantly, moving the San Antonio division ranking from 10th of 15 divisions in HCA to the 5th position. Scores improved in all facilities. Department leaders created action plans, and a strategy was implemented to provide clear direction, enhanced accountability, and recognition for high performers.
  • Reduced staff turnover by 40 percent.
  • Recruited 846 RNs, a 63 percent improvement from the previous year.
  • In an effort to maintain efficient productivity standards, tightened hiring controls were put in place in November, 2008. Heightened controls have resulted in a 45% decrease in approved, open positions compared to a year ago. Volume increased by 3.6 percent, while staffing levels remained virtually flat.
  • Invested over $19m in employee learning in 2009. Directed leadership development, including quarterly one-day sessions, and supplemental classroom and on-line learning. The number of classes and attendance of leadership development classes increased by 60 percent. To enhance employee selection practices, peer interviewing training classes were attended by 650 staff and leaders.
  • To increase recognition for high performers, created quarterly pillar awards for outstanding results, champions of service who were presented to the board of directors on a monthly basis, and a traveling trophy program for stellar results in retention and contract labor improvement.
  • Created a salary administration plan class entitled Compensation College taught to more than 175 leaders. The approval guidelines were tightened for better decisions on hire rates, promotions, and transfers. The compensation committee approved market adjustments to RNs, and other positions warranting increases outside of the standard annual increase. The compensation score on the employee survey increased by six points, which is considered significant.
  • During the 2009 Joint Commission site survey, all of the HR standards passed successfully
  • Reduced late evaluations from 550 to 0.
  • For the first time in three years, benefit fairs were conducted on each campus. During the benefit fairs, staff had the chance to speak directly with providers before registering in open enrollment. This contributed to an increase in employees understanding of benefits, resulting in a higher score on the engagement survey.
  • Increased employee giving. In 2008, Methodist employees contributed a record $91,000 to the Hope Fund, compared to $7,000 the year before. Holiday assistance was provided to 158 families including 381 children, up from 27 in 2007. Created a giving campaign for Haiti and for school supplies for children of employees when the school year started. Thanks to everyone who donated to the San Antonio Food Bank during Hospital and Nurse’s Week. As a system we were able to donate a total of 9,500 lbs of food.
  • Efforts were heightened to support a safe work environment for employees. The number of employee injuries dropped by 40 percent in two years. A "Safe Patient Handling Education Program" was implemented to help further reduce injuries from lifting and transferring patients. The number of flu vaccines increased to over 12,000 for employees and families, physicians and volunteers.
  • Created a division-based humanitarian award program modeled after the Frist Awards. The ceremony was named in honor of a long-serving board member. Employees, physicians and volunteers were recognized for outstanding contributions to the community.
  • Created a "Work in My Shoes" campaign to heighten respect in the workplace where all leaders were tasked with working in a front-line position for four hours during the month of March, 2010.
  • Improved patient safety scrores to less than 1.12 of lost work time cases per 100 employees.


  • 75th percentile in patient satisfaction scores, ranking third among 15 HCA divisions.


  • Developed a Quality Action Team to be able to give better feedback to physicians on evidence-based care inpatient measures.
  • Methodist Healthcare received the National Research Corporation Annual Consumer Choice Award for the ninth time.
  • In February, Forbes cited Methodist Hospital, Methodist Children’s Hospital*, Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital*, Metropolitan Methodist Hospital* and Northeast Methodist Hospital* for being in the top five percent of hospitals in the country in preventing mortality and complications.
  • Methodist Hospital received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers.
  • Methodist Hospital received the American Stroke Association, Get with the Guidelines, Bronze Performance Achievement Award for successfully implementing a higher level of stroke care
  • System received the Commission on Cancer Accreditation with commendations, Pediatric and Adult Services, 2007 to present
  • Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Methodist Children’s Hospital* designated as United Healthcare Center of Excellence, an honor shared by only five other NICUs in the nation.
  • Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital* is a Bariatric Center of Excellence by the Surgical Review Corporation, 2007 to present.
  • Methodist Hospital, Northeast Methodist Hospital*, Metropolitan Methodist Hospital* are designated as official Chest Pain Centers by the Society of Chest Pain Centers
  • Healthgrades awards for 2010: Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence (top 5% of hospitals); Critical Care Excellence Award; Pulmonary Care Excellence Award; Vascular Surgery Excellence Award; Emergency Medicine Excellence Award. Five-star rated for treatment of heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.


  • Meeting labor and operational budgets.


  • Instituted significant throughput initiative to get ED hold hours down and place patients in beds sooner.
  • Methodist AirCare has been in service less than one year but has already been deemed a success. The transport service has 229 transports (through May). Over the last three months, there has been an increase in transports of 48.5 percent.
  • Methodist Stone Oak Hospital opened last year and has already seen growth in service lines (heart, neuro, OB services, robotic surgery). An expansion has been approved to add beds to the second floor, adding 12 beds to women’s services area and constructing 34 additional beds on the third floor of the hospital. Kids Express was also added.
  • Northeast Methodist Hospital added a multi-level parking garage and expanded its cath lab.
  • Metropolitan Methodist Hospital renovated its first floor lobby, second floor and sleep lab. The hospital also now has a daVinci robot, 64-slice CT scanner and a stereotactic breast biopsy imaging system.
  • Methodist Children’s Hospital expanded its emergency department and now has 21 treatment rooms and five fast track beds.
  • Methodist Hospital renovated its Central Tower lobby and mother/baby unit. It is now undergoing renovations/expansions in labor and delivery and the adult emergency department.
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