Texas Center for Healthcare Quality Innovation


The Texas Center for Healthcare Quality Innovation (TCHQI) was established in late 2013 through the state of Texas’s DSRIP (Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment) program as a collaboration between UTHealth (Houston) and Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center campus.  The TCHQI has worked on improvement initiatives in both the inpatient and ambulatory setting.


TCHQI aims to accelerate quality and patient safety in healthcare through innovative data analytics, dashboards, and continuous improvement methodologies such as systems engineering and Lean Six Sigma.


Since the group’s inception, the TCHQI has been engaged in a variety of initiatives and developed over 40 dashboards and/or reports that range in scope and size.  Some are at the individual patient-level where data elements are shown over the course of an encounter, while others may be at an aggregate-level where data is summarized for patients within a unit or specified group.  The frequency of dashboard updates range from daily to weekly to monthly, depending on customer need and appropriateness.

A few of TCHQI’s main current projects are listed below:

Image of Chart of Current Projects by Texas Center for Healthcare Quality Innovation (TCHQI) under leadership of Dr Bela Patel, Division Director for Critical Care Medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth


The “Get to Green” project has been one of TCHQI’s ongoing initiatives (implemented in 2015) targeting the reduction of overall vent days in Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) patients.  The main intervention in this quality project was the implementation of a “Get to Green” tool.  This tool centralizes and serves as the main source of information in real-time about the patient’s readiness for a Spontaneous Breathing Trial, and ultimately, discontinuation of the mechanical ventilator.  The tool has been integrated into the MICU’s daily workflow and clinical rounds.  Currently, there are efforts to implement an automated version of the Get to Green tool.  This tool will integrate with the EMR system, allowing the electronic capture of the Get to Green data elements (instead of manual) and real-time notification once a patient meets the defined criteria.  Since the start of Get to Green, average vent days has decreased from 4.90 days to 3.10 (December 2017).


With the immense amount of healthcare data available and a wasteful healthcare delivery system, an opportunity exists to utilize timely and meaningful information to improve patient outcomes.  By giving the right people the right information at the right time, we are enabling data-driven changes in clinical and operational healthcare settings.


Bela Patel, MD – Director (Vice Dean for Healthcare Quality & Memorial Hermann Hospital’s Regional Chief Medical Officer)

Mary Ayad, MD – Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Al Aman – Systems Engineer

Denise Jackson – Applications Support Analyst III

Kavitha Gopal – Staff Systems Analyst

Michelle Narat – Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt


Memorial Hermann – Enterprise Analytics, Information Systems Division

Oscar Pinzon – Senior Applications Programmer Analyst


UT Healthcare Transformation Initiatives

Sandra Stansberry – Project Manager


UT McGovern Medical School Partners

Siddarth Karanth, MD, DrPH – Statistician

Jean McBride – Director, Process Quality and Improvement


UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics

Swaroop Gantela, MD – Scientific Programmer II

Todd Johnson, PhD – Professor

Robert Murphy, MD – Associate Dean for Applied Informatics & Associate Professor of Health Informatics