Drive and determination help new Chief Nursing/Administrative Officer Angie Kauffman steer toward success

An experienced leader in healthcare operations, Angie Kauffman recently assumed the role of chief nursing/administrative officer at Westside Surgical Hospital. She is enthusiastic about supporting the hospital’s mission, vision and values by fostering a spirit of collaboration. Here, she outlines her team’s accomplishments and shares her view of the future.

How did you come to Westside Surgical Hospital?

I had been a chief nursing officer for nearly 10 years in Austin, where the healthcare market is smaller. I had wanted to obtain my master’s degree in business and did so in 2012. One of my long-term goals was to become a CNO/CAO of a hospital. When this position became available, I was really excited about the opportunity, and it’s been a fabulous experience so far. I’m very passionate about what I see here.

What are your chief responsibilities?

My main responsibility is to see the big picture and help everyone else to see it as well. Every day I do a walk-through of the facility to check that everyone has the resources and tools necessary to do their work.

My goal is to really expand upon the communication and collaboration of the healthcare team. Part of that is to encourage and support the decision- making environment. To provide superior service, we must take care of what is happening today while anticipating what could happen tomorrow.

What values and philosophies do you bring to your daily work?

I’m here to serve everyone, from physicians to employees to patients. It takes every single one of us, and it’s important for us to come together as a team. The doctors and staff really want to do their best to support patients and their family members.

Accountability is a major component as well, allowing our team to really focus on improving quality and efficiency.

What are your immediate goals for this position?

We really want to stand out as the hospital for our patients to choose. We take a holistic approach to the patient experience – from start to finish – by focusing on service excellence. We provide a nurse-to-patient ratio that lets our staff provide individual care that you don’t always get in larger hospitals. Our patient satisfaction scores are phenomenal and it’s such a clean and pristine environment. We are always striving to do better and keep those scores high.

How do these goals relate to your long-term vision for the hospital?

All of these goals support our hospital’s mission in striving to contribute to the health and well-being of the community. The hospital, along with The Breast Center, wants to take part in improving our community and we are doing this by participating in outreach and education programs. For example, we participated in the Komen Houston Race for the Cure in October, creating hospital fundraisers and hosting an auction to support the cause.

With operational costs continuing to rise, how do you maintain financial sustainability?

Our goal is to deliver high-quality health care at a low cost. It all starts with building a strong leadership team that empowers our nurses, staff and physicians in the decision-making process.

We are really looking for efficiencies in managing labor and supplies without compromising the quality of care we deliver. You can be a financially sound institution, but if you don’t have that clinical quality, nothing else matters.

Why is Westside Surgical Hospital so inviting for patients and doctors?

Walking in the doors, you can just tell by the smiles on employees’ faces that they enjoy working here and that contributes to the patient experience. We want to create an environment where our community can relax and heal. I can feel our forward momentum continuing to build.

What do you feel are the greatest benefits of working in the medical field?

Taking care of the patients is the most important thing. It’s about seeing their outcomes and realizing you’ve touched their lives. No matter who it might be, it’s important to build relationships with our patients and their families.