Two nurses help drive impactful EC change

August 9, 2017 | (37) Comments

“Leadership applies to everyone.”

No matter what your title or position is at Texas Children’s, every employee makes an impact in the way we fulfill our mission. Simply put – everyone is a leader, which is the principle of my second Maxim of Leadership.

Texas Children’s employees and staff often go above and beyond to ensure our patients and their families have a positive experience, from the moment they walk through our doors to the moment they leave any of our health care locations. This past year, two of our Emergency Center (EC) nurses showed us that leadership is a quality, not a title. When our patients were constantly enduring long wait times in the EC, Kimberly Almon and Marianne Oldroyd were determined to figure out what the barriers were and what processes could be removed or changed to provide an overall better and safer patient experience.

Historically, there was a multi-step, check-in process for patients and their families before being placed in a room and getting to see a physician. While this process made sense from a staff perspective, Kimberly and Marianne realized that the process added an extra layer of anxiety to an already stressful situation for families. They put themselves in their patients’ shoes and asked, “Do families want to fill out multiple forms? Do they want to keep repeating possibly sensitive information? Do they want to be led around the entire first floor of the building before arriving at their own room?”

Thanks to these two nurses asking questions and then responding with simpler, streamlined processes, we’ve created a more patient-centered experience in the EC. Reducing the time patients and their families spend prior to seeing a physician has improved the overall patient experience at Texas Children’s. In fact, as a result of Kimberly and Marianne’s assertiveness, this process change has contributed to the highest patient experience scores the EC has ever seen.

Due to the success at Texas Children’s medical center campus, the West Campus EC staff has also implemented the new patient flow process, and The Woodlands hospital recently began its implementation of the process. And in addition to being recognized by their peers for these truly impactful efforts, Kimberly and Marianne’s work was recently accepted for a podium presentation at the Nursing Professional Development Conference.

Kimberly and Marianne spearheaded a process change and worked with their colleagues and leaders to improve the overall patient experience in the EC. Their actions remind us that leadership applies to everyone. I’m so grateful that they are part of Texas Children’s One Amazing Team.

I’d like to hear from you … how do you embrace your power to lead and make a difference every day?


Take the leadership challenge, and score a spot at a Houston Texans event!

Over the next four weeks, Mark Wallace’s blog will highlight employees who demonstrate his Maxims of Leadership. Each blog post will pose a leadership question that you may respond to in the comments section of the blog post. 

In September, the Corporate Communications team will collect all of your comments and draw the names of 100 commenters to attend a private event with the Houston Texans, including a behind-the-scenes tour of NRG Stadium, an autograph session with two Houston Texans football players and photos with the Texans cheerleaders.

So make sure you respond to the question at the end of

Mr. Wallace’s blog post to be entered to win!

Click here to watch a video about how Texas Children’s and the Houston Texans are leading in patient care and on the football field every single day.

37 Responses to “Two nurses help drive impactful EC change”

  1. Deitra Brown

    I embrace the power to lead and make a difference every day by becoming an expert on my work environment. I look for barriers to processes that impact our Patient Experience and Employee Engagement. I work on solutions to eliminate barriers that are within my control or I partner with others to eliminate barriers that may be complex. In addition, I empower my staff to be “Barrier Eliminators”. Each barrier we face is an opportunity to improve our process and care.

  2. Dan Christopher

    This is a perfect example of what can happen when an entire team pulls together and works toward a common goal. In a constantly changing environment like the Emergency Center, it requires everyone being flexible and resilient in order to work together as one. This is also a perfect example of “Leadership applies to everyone”. Achieving the success this initiative has produced can only come from all of us leading the change. Thank you Kim and Marianne for being an example of how we are all leaders in our roles at Texas Children’s.

  3. Liliana Velasquez

    True definition of Service with Heart! Kim and Marianne are two of Texas Children’s best nurses. I’ve proudly worked in the EC for 16 years and we are constantly looking for ways to improve patient care and satisfaction. Great job ladies!

  4. David Kolacny Jr.

    One of the most inspiring things leaders can do is strengthen a team by practicing and encouraging empathy. When we take time, as Kimberly and Marianne did, to put ourselves in the shoes of others and gain their perspective and experience, we can truly understand the aspects of what our teammates or stakeholders or, most importantly, our patients go through. Collaboration by means of empathy and being supportive to our teammates and patients can lead to very successful efforts, no matter the goal!

  5. Angie Rangel

    Excellent work Kim and Marianne. At the end of the day, its all about the patient and the quality care we provide. You made a difference for the patient, your team, and your unit. Congratulations on your deligence.

  6. Carrie Clark

    The way I embrace my power to lead is by conscientiously discovering ways to empower others. Serving others with a joyous heart, a positive attitude and a desire to make a difference is what I practice daily.

  7. Joanna Thielmann

    How do you embrace your power to lead and make a difference every day?

    Building rapport and learning more about the strengths and needs of our patients and families helps me embrace my power to lead. With that foundation, I am able to guide the team in a more informed, empathetic approach. By providing encouraging, compassionate care for our patients and families, we make a difference in their daily lives and illustrate the leadership of the T.C.H. team.

  8. Alejandra Grimsley, NP

    As a leader, I think it is important to show respect for all individuals. When you truly care about what you are doing it shows. A daily positive attitude goes a long way and can be both felt and then expressed by others and this can drastically make a difference in the work environment.

  9. Christine Youngblood

    I am a recent addition to the Amazing TCH Team. As I’m new to the organization, I embrace the power to lead and make a difference every day by familiarizing myself and beginning the journey of developing relationships with key stakeholders including physicians and frontline staff. I’m alert to opportunities for improvement and sensitive to the dynamics of change management. I merge my passion for quality and safety with teaching and leadership.

  10. Linda McCoy

    The patients’ families seem to appreciate this process. Families who have been to the EC many times in the past have commented that things seem to be moving so much faster than before. I have worked in the EC for almost 20 years and have seen many changes. This process improves the flow and reduces the redundancy that has frustrated families in the past. Good job Marianne and Kim!

  11. Krista Formica

    I approach each patient situation with LOVE. I always try to do my best and give the care I would want for my own loved ones. I try to help the family see how their love for each other can motivate them to all be healthy together..

  12. Keisia Sobers-Butler

    A great example of leadership and our core values; embracing freedom – thinking outside of the box, and living compassionately by reducing stressful wait times for our families.. Way to Go Team!

  13. Lummer Dumapat

    I am so proud to say that they were my colleagues. We are advocates and healers. They inspire me and remind me why we are in this profession. We are here for our patients and their families to make a difference and pave a way for change.

  14. Julia Sigren

    There are many ways to powerfully lead here at Texas Children’s Hospital. As a manger, I try to be self-aware of the role model I can play to my staff in the initiatives we drive every day. If I see an opportunity to improve safety, patient satisfaction, and quality I will research and use my power to get involved in any way that I can. It is rewarding to be able to implement changes as a leader and see strong impacts on our patients.

  15. Tanyel Nickson

    I make sure that I am readily availble to answer any of my co-workers questions. Try to stay engaged each day because everyday is a different learnign experience, so be ready to embrace it as it comes.

  16. Emily Tree

    how do you embrace your power to lead and make a difference every day?

    For me leading and making a difference means that there is no task too small that it is beneath my ability. What a difference it makes as a team when each person realizes that “that’s not my job” is not a phrase that applies to anyone at TCH. Anyone can get a patient a blanket or a soda. Anyone can call housekeeping if they see a spill. There’s no task too small for anyone to complete. That makes a huge difference every day to each person with whom we come in contact.

  17. Listening…
    What better way to encourage positive change then to lend a listening ear. The future is in development. Changing and trying new things. Listening to what works, doesn’t work and half worked is the best way to mold a better work envitoment and strenghtening the team.

  18. Sylvia Palomo

    How do you embrace your power to lead and make a difference everyday. You always remember to lead by example. You listen, you teach, you encourage at times when things difficult those are moments you partner up and become a team. As a leader is not all about the power , you gain that power, by leading with respect, passion you get involved. As a leader your only as good as your team is’. Remember your team is your power leading your team to be successful you will make a difference everyday

  19. Sara Aguirre

    I embrace the power to lead and make a difference every day by being present, visible, and available. I do my best to be prepared and unafraid to try new things and embrace positive changes.

  20. Kristy Kubes

    Thanks to all of the nurses and staff at TCH for putting the patient and families as a priority. Our hospital positively acknowledges the nurses for their ability to perform not only their duties but continuously looking for ways to improve our service.

  21. Tarra Christopher

    The Emergency Center, like health care, is an ever changing environment. To meet this demand, it is critical that we challenge the status quo, take risks, and lead boldly. Every employee or volunteer who enters our system has the ability to demonstrate leadership. This initiative has changed care delivery in our EC- increasing our patient, family, and staff experience while simultaneously developing/growing/mentoring the team. Thank you Kim and Marianne for modeling the way for our system and demonstrating strong leadership.

  22. Susan Simnitt

    Today in our nurse meeting we watched a video on empathy vs sympathy. When a person shows sympathetic he may say “Oh that is too bad that is happening.” But if someone shows empathy, he or she puts themselves in that person’s shoes.
    These 2 nurses were empathetic to the patient’s needs. They became leaders in their department and took action,. What a blessing to have people exhibiting that principle of leadership that makes such a huge impact on the lives of our patients at TCH.

  23. Regina Wysocki

    I think to truly develop as a leader you have to learn how to listen. Every day I am provided with opportunities to learn from my colleagues, but only if I am truly present and listening. It’s hard to do sometimes! We all feel like we have a story to share, but sometimes the best way to learn what people need, and how you can help them is to first understand where they are coming from. Once you understand what their needs are, or what the problem is to be solved, then you can help lead your team to success.

  24. Mary Jo Andre

    Thanks so much Kim and Marianne–what a fantastic project and such great outcomes. The EC patient satisfaction scores are improving as a direct result of your focus on the patient experience. This is great leadership–You guys rock and I am proud of the entire EC team for making a difference for our patients. Great job!!!!

  25. Crystal Sallans

    How do you embrace your power to lead and make a difference every day?
    I lead by being present with the patients and the staff I work with daily. I examine barriers they face day to day that impact how the patients receive care and attempt to break down those barriers when possible. As a leader it is important to listen and hear what people are trying to tell you so you can help them provide the best care possible to our patients.

  26. Candace Mike

    Thank you so much Kimberly Almon and Marianne Oldroyd for going above and beyond showing leadership and compassion for our patients and families and recognizing there was a problem and coming up with a solution; that is what leadership is all about. From not just a nursing perspective but from that of a parent it is so important for wait times to be reduced for patients to see an MD. Sometimes those few minutes can be vital. Thank you for caring enough to go above and beyond!!

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