Drive-through COVID testing


Texas Children’s dedicated staff go above and beyond

With the COVID-19 pandemic raging in Texas, anxious parents and families quickly learned they could count on Texas Children’s for friendly and convenient drive-through testing with a speedy response within 24 hours.

Over the course of just one year, we recorded more than 100,000 patient encounters at Texas Children’s drive-through testing locations in Houston and Austin. This was a first-of-its-kind initiative, and its success was made possible by a dedicated team of staff across the hospital system, whose collaboration, flexibility and adaptability were a true testament to the ways in which we amplify unity at Texas Children’s to achieve the best possible results.

  • Child Life team members developed information materials for parents about what to expect so they could prepare their children for testing before pulling into the drive-through.
  • Information Services helped set up equipment to reduce patient prep time and improve workflows at the testing sites. Along the way, the team made adjustments to streamline ordering tests, scheduling patients and setting testing times.
  • The Pathology team received couriered specimens seven days a week to ensure high-quality results were available for patients in a timely manner.
  • The EPIC team set up scheduling and documentation workflow, helping families have access to easy directions in MyChart. They remained available around the clock to handle any new technology challenges.
  • The Marketing team provided testing center signage and up-to-date information that parents and families could access on Texas Children’s websites.
  • Supply Chain ensured there were always enough supplies and temperature-appropriate gowns for testing in the Texas heat.
  • Facilities team members made sure that staff members stayed warm during the February cold snap and cool in the warmer months, providing a clean, mosquito-free site for staff every day.

“Our staff make these testing centers successful,” said Ginger Dillehay, Manager of Quality Improvement at Texas Children’s Pediatrics. “Keeping a light and fun atmosphere in the middle of a pandemic is challenging. Staff consoled and entertained patients and parents while maintaining quality and efficiency. So many teams contributed to this success.”