Differentiating Texas Health
Texas Health aims to deliver an exceptional experience at every consumer interaction, knowing they face more healthcare choices than ever. Delivering proactive, compassionate care, communicating clearly and helping consumers navigate each step strengthens trust, improves health outcomes and lowers readmissions and costs. All are essential to fulfilling our Vision of "partnering with you for a lifetime of health and well-being."
We provide caregivers with extensive tools and training on how to engage consumers and their families effectively. We want to fully understand their medical histories, health needs and the best ways to care for them. This helps us to better tailor care plans, address questions and reduce their anxiety. We also want our consumers to feel safe and comfortable in clean, quiet, well-maintained rooms. Upon discharge, we want them to understand how to care for themselves fully.
But our work doesn't stop there. We provide free follow-up with a physician for emergency department patients within a week after leaving the hospital to address outstanding questions or needs.
We all need the love and support of family and friends to navigate life. That connection is even more critical in times of crisis. Seeing trusted, familiar faces is comforting and reduces anxiety.
The COVID-19 pandemic creates high levels of uncertainty and fear. That's why Texas Health made the conscious decision to keep patients connected with family and friends safely. We also know that loved ones may share critical information and observations with our care teams. When in-person visits are not possible, we connect patients to loved ones virtually through iPads and smartphones.
To keep friends and family who can’t be with their loved ones during emergencies or surgical procedures informed, we added a "Contact Family" feature to our patient portal. It allows physicians, nurses and other staff to communicate with a patient's designated contact via text. Loved ones receive updates like, "The procedure started at 1:12 p.m. and the patient was calm, sleepy and safe. Everything is going well, and we will let you know once he is in recovery."
When a patient lacks support systems, nurses make sure their needs are being met, even if they are not hospitalized. For example, a Texas Health nurse called the day after an elderly couple who had COVID-19 was discharged. She learned they were too exhausted to cook. She immediately arranged for Meals on Wheels to deliver food.
We go the extra mile to make every experience with Texas Health positive. We believe it is the right thing to do.
Nursing Satisfaction Rises During the Pandemic
Texas Health nurses took intentional steps in 2020 to keep consumer satisfaction high, despite the COVID-19 challenges. Fourteen of 15 Texas Health hospitals outperformed the 2020 national benchmark for nurse-to-nurse teamwork and collaboration. All 15 Texas Health hospitals outperformed benchmarks for quality of care, leadership access and responsiveness and autonomy.
"Texas Health nurses have been the soldiers on the front lines of this war against COVID-19," said Mary Robinson, Ph.D., R.N., NEA-BC, senior vice president and Reliable Health chief nursing officer. "Despite the mental, physical and emotional challenges, they have remained committed to providing compassionate, safe, reliable care."
Celebrating COVID-19 Survivors
Healthcare teams at some Texas Health hospitals created a special send-off celebration for COVID-19 survivors. The Code Believe ceremony, performed with the patient’s consent, begins by announcing Code Believe over its paging system. Employees congregate in the hospital's foyer. As the patient is wheeled out, employees form lines on either side, clapping, cheering, and waving as a snippet of Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" plays overhead. A centrally placed poster with COVID-19 discharge numbers is updated amid supportive cheers. "Code Believe is awesome," said one nurse. "The patients are excited about it. They love it. We love it because we get to say, ‘Yes! We got one more that gets to come through!’"
Providing Spiritual Comfort and Guidance
Texas Health's pastoral care team has found creative ways to minister to the sick, injured or dying during the pandemic. One man facing major surgery called Jacquetta Chambers, manager of pastoral care at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford, asking to be baptized before the procedure.
"I want my life in order and my salvation complete, so I want to be baptized," he said.
The two made plans to meet in one of Texas Health's chapels, but he learned a few days later that because of COVID-19 precautions, he couldn’t come into the hospital until the day of the surgery.
"He was devastated," Chambers said. She suggested having a baptism in the hospital parking lot instead. When the time came, she sprinkled baptismal water she had prayed over after his call.
The experience "shows me people are still seeking God in this turbulent time," she said.
Our chaplains have provided spiritual guidance and blessings throughout the pandemic, primarily through phone or video visits with patients and their families. For intensive care unit patients and those facing end-of-life decisions, the nurses helped set up video visits with our chaplains, patients and their loved ones.
Texas Health also works with the Catholic dioceses in North Texas to arrange visits from priests to administer the Anointing of the Sick sacrament to Catholic patients, which must be done in person. Priests wear personal protective equipment.
"We are going out of our way to allay anxiety and fear with patients and their loved ones, using smartphones, iPads and other technologies," said Elizabeth Watson-Martin, vice president, Faith and Spirituality Integration. "We want to connect with anyone who desires a spiritual support system."