Opening the door to patient access

Press Release

Texas Children’s patient access initiative generates promising results

As one of the nation’s top pediatric hospitals, many patients come to Texas Children’s to access our high quality care and services. But given the increasing demand we face in one of the largest and most rapidly growing cities in the country, sometimes getting in the door to the system can present hurdles for our patients and their families.

To meet this challenge head on, Texas Children’s Access and Patient Scheduling Task Force conducted a baseline assessment of the hospital’s current landscape, which revealed several opportunities to improve patient access. The task force proposed more than 30 recommendations and prioritized which ones would be implemented first.

Since the launch of the patient access initiative’s first wave of solutions in March 2018, Texas Children’s – as well as our patients and their families – have noticed significant improvements across the system.

With tremendous support from Texas Children’s leadership, the following solutions were implemented in 2018 across all of our subspecialties:

Standard clinic sessions: After evaluating provider templates, extra slots were found where physicians could see patients. By standardizing clinic sessions for all specialties, 53,000 new appointments were added to the system.


MyChart (online patient portal) activation: Since launching the MyChart Challenge to engage teams around the hospital’s patient access initiative, Texas Children’s has seen a significant increase in the number of patients signing up for MyChart. In October 2017, the organization had less than 8,000 monthly activations compared to over 18,000 in March. To date, Texas Children’s has a total of 72,006 same-day MyChart activations.

MyChart direct scheduling: More than 2,000 patients have already used this MyChart feature to schedule their return appointments. In FY18, more than 20 specialties have gone live with online scheduling for MyChart users, making the scheduling process easier for over 3,330 patients.

Electronic Waitlist: Since implementing this MyChart feature that automatically offers up available appointments via text or email to patients desiring a sooner appointment, approximately 1,000 patients have accepted an appointment on average 55 days earlier than their prior appointment.

Online scheduling: Texas Children’s partnered with a vendor to set up an online scheduling infrastructure for new patients who do not have a MyChart account. In November 2018, eight specialties went live with online scheduling.

Referrals: Referral processes were also streamlined which eliminated the 60 different referral processes that previously existed across the system, thus making scheduling visits easier.

“Since implementing our patient access initiative, we have made significant progress to ensure our patients get into our system according to their urgency and timeline,” said Texas Children’s Assistant Vice President Carrie Rys. “We plan to continue these efforts into the next fiscal year with additional goals aimed at improving patient access.”