Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital brings safety innovations to Montgomery County; Receives Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade ‘A’

By: Amy Barnett
| Published 05/01/2020

Matt Maxwell, MD, anesthesiologist (left); Ron Osborn, MD, Chief of Anesthesia (right); and fellow operating room staff test the Houston Methodist Aerosol Container (HMAC) at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital.
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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital receives an “A” in The Leapfrog Group’s Spring 2020 report. The Washington D.C.-based organization measures publicly available hospital safety data to grade approximately 2,600 hospitals, twice a year, and to inform patients about local hospitals with the best safety measures in place.

“We are pleased to have received another ‘A’ from The Leapfrog Group. Our physicians, nurses and support staff – from environmental services to facilities and food services – have continued to make patient safety and quality the focus of the great work they do every day. I could not be more proud of this team,” said Debbie Sukin, CEO, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital, regional senior vice president, Houston Methodist.

Ensuring the safety of patients and staff has become even more critical as the world continues to navigate the coronavirus pandemic. Houston Methodist, as a health care system, has been a true leader in the fight against COVID-19 – through innovation and participation in clinical trials and the development of equipment to offer additional protection for staff and patients.

Houston Methodist The Woodlands quickly began implementing several new initiatives to further safeguard patients and staff, including the Houston Methodist Aerosol Container (HMAC).This acrylic box, created by the Houston Methodist innovation team, offers an added layer of protection when intubating or extubating suspected COVID-19 patients. Physicians and nurses are currently using the boxes in the emergency department, ICU, NICU and operating rooms.

The hospital is also utilizing technology to allow for virtual consultations, appointments and visitation to minimize direct contact, when appropriate.

“We set up dedicated physician tele-rounding lounges in our third floor conference center to promote social distancing, while maximizing our care coordination. Our IT department has made it possible for physicians to provide synchronized virtual and onsite care rounds for confirmed COVID-19 patients and cases that are under investigation for possible COVID-19. This allows them to stay in touch with our patients and nursing teams while also helping to conserve personal protective equipment,” added Sukin.

Another new technology on The Houston Methodist The Woodlands campus is an iPhone-controlled robot that allows Sukin and other leaders to make rounds in higher risk areas, virtually, throughout the hospital.

“This empowers us to stay in touch with our nursing teams and limit the number of staff on a unit, while again conserving PPE. Plus, it allows the nurses and our staff to engage with the executive team and ask questions as we also check on their spirit during this pandemic,” said Sukin.

While providing quality and safety has always been the mission of the hospital, the way the staff is delivering that commitment is now more visible than ever.

Sukin added, “As we methodically resume operations on May 1, in accordance with Governor Abbott’s reopening plan, we will maintain our safety practices including limiting visitors, masking all patients upon arrival, adapting our registration processes to minimize waiting in our lounges, and increasing sanitization and disinfecting practices in all public and patient care areas. Safety is always our top priority.”


About Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital

Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital opened in 2017 with 187 beds and occupies 470,000 square feet, including a 150,000-square-foot-medical building. Located at the intersection of Texas Hwy. 242 and Interstate 45, Houston Methodist The Woodlands is the eighth hospital in the Houston Methodist system, offering The Woodlands community a full-service, acute care hospital providing services similar to those of the flagship Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.

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