At Texas Perinatal Services, we pride ourselves on hiring only Texas-based, Texas-experienced clinicians for our survey teams. Why is that important? Because, unlike clinicians whose frame of reference may come from other regions of the country, our surveyors understand the unique challenges of delivering healthcare in a state as large and diverse as Texas.
Dr. Elly Xenakis is one of those seasoned Texas maternal care experts, and we are proud to have her on our survey team. She recently shared some insights on the new maternal care rules and what hospitals need to know as they undertake this journey.
How will hospitals – and more importantly, their patients – benefit from the new maternal care verification surveys and designation rules?
The new rules are going to improve the safety of patients and the level of care they receive. They also give patients an opportunity to access the appropriate level of care they need.
Why did you choose to become a TPS surveyor?
As an experienced physician and a Maternal-Fetal Medicine/OB-GYN specialist, I can offer insights and understanding by being a surveyor. I am also learning through this process and can facilitate improvement locally and state-wide.
I chose Texas Perinatal Services/TETAF because they are Texas based. That’s where I live, where my patients are, where my heart is.
What was it about Texas Perinatal Services that attracted you?
Texas Perinatal Services/TETAF is a Texas-based organization with surveyors knowledgeable about urban and rural realities of Texas. TETAF has served Texas for a very long time and our teams are very knowledgeable and their experience adds value to the services delivered by our maternal care facilities throughout Texas.
Tell us about your experience so far in surveying maternal care programs.
As an OB-GYN who specializes in high-risk patients, I find that I am learning just as much as the hospitals. I have been very impressed and enlightened by this process. The dedication, commitment and collaboration among the providers, the administration and the hospitals themselves is impressive. They share a common goal to provide the best of care for women and their children.
As we go through the process, we are together enhancing knowledge. We are here to facilitate and what we are doing through the surveys is to corroborate and enhance the opportunities for every hospital to provide the best care for the mothers and their children. This process helps everybody.
What experience do you bring to your role as a surveyor that you hope will be beneficial to the hospitals and clinical teams you survey?
I have spent my career in a county hospital which gives me a unique perspective about serving an underserved population. I serve a population with very diverse needs. We have a lot of outreach and transfers, and I see the conditions and needs of rural Texas communities. Over my 28 years in San Antonio, I have had the opportunity to work with every level of maternal care in South Texas and I think that is valuable experience in my survey role.
Any advice to hospitals as they prepare for their first maternal survey?
Become familiar with the requirements for designation. Know the process and what’s required for your hospital. You need to be very well prepared and diligent as you get ready for the survey. I encourage people to contact their Regional Advisory Councils and talk to others who have gone through their survey already. Take advantage of the TETAF/Texas Perinatal Services resources that are available through their website. They have produced several webinars that are online, and lots of information can be found on their site.
About Dr. Xenakis
Elly Marie-Jeanne Xenakis, MD, is board certified in maternal-fetal medicine and obstetrics-gynecology. She completed her fellowship in San Antonio and has taught and practiced medicine there for nearly three decades. She has received numerous teaching and mentorship awards, and has been named one of the best doctors in America, a “Texas Super Doctor”, and most recently, one of the best doctors in San Antonio, Texas.