Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative Conference 2018: Improving Perinatal Health Care Quality


The Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative held its 2018 annual conference on April 19 and 20 in Tampa, Fla. It included a two-day program of presentations, panel discussions and a wide array of workshops on diverse and relevant perinatal topics.

The seventh annual conference brought together more than 260 obstetricians, neonatologists, nurses, midwives, and public health and quality improvement stakeholders from across Florida to join a statewide conversation on improving the quality of healthcare for mothers, infants, and families.

Celeste Philip, Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health, welcoming everyone to the 2018 conference


The conference began with opening remarks by Dr. William Sappenfield, director of the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative, who presented the State of the Collaborative, bringing stakeholders and attendees up-to-date on statewide collaborative efforts to improve health care quality for mothers and infants. He also announced two upcoming FPQC initiatives: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and Birth Certificate Accuracy Improvement (BCI).

Karen Harris, Chair of ACOG District XII, reviewed the shared decision making model as a specific strategy to improve health outcomes, especially in underserved populations. She also invited the participants to increase self-awareness of implicit bias and reflect on its effects on shared decision making.

“Good shared decision making means talking with your patients about what is important to them” – Karen Harris

Neel Shah of Harvard Medical School and Ariadne Labs provided an engaging lecture and question & answer session on the cesarean epidemic and the variation in cesarean rates by hospital. He also discussed system complexity and efforts to understand what makes hospitals different from one another, and how this may inform the design of interventions that measurably improve the care of mothers and babies.

“Checklists are boring, but death is worse” – Neel Shah

Ann Borders, Executive Director of the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative, shared strategies to increase physician buy-in and engagement and provided examples of current ILPQC initiatives that engage providers at the state and hospital levels.

Tara Bristol Rouse, Patient and Family Engagement Project Consultant for the Health Research & Educational Trust, addressed engagement of patients and families at both the bedside and in the design of health care. Examples of best practices in patient and family partnership were shared.

FPQC 2018 Poster Session

Heather Kaplan, a neonatologist with the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative, discussed the scope of the opioid crisis in Ohio and the quality improvement activities undertaken by children’s hospitals in the state.

Maya Balakrishnan, Associate Director for Clinical & Quality Management at the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative, presented how to use evidence-based practices to promote standardization and contrast its role with customization of care.

Bill Sappenfield and 2018 poster winner Alreca Daly

This year’s poster session, in which hospitals and organizations shared their obstetric and neonatal quality improvement initiatives and research, included awards for best poster.

The grand prize went to Alreca Daly and her team from Baptist Children’s Hospital in Miami for “NICU Antibiotic Stewardship Quality Improvement Process: The Good Bugs and the Babies Will Thank You.”

Attendees also participated in a number of break-out sessions that provided the opportunity for sharing experiences, discussion, and exploration of new areas of perinatal quality improvement.

Small group session topics included: strategies for engaging patients and families to improve quality and safety, the ARRIVE trial, optimizing enteral nutrition in extremely preterm infants, contraceptive counseling and best practices, engaging mothers in the care of their NAS infants, primary cesareans and supporting vaginal birth, what healthy start coalitions can do to help hospitals with quality improvement, and birth certificate accuracy/perinatal quality indicators.

Dr. John Curran, founding director of the FPQC, presented the FPQC’s annual John Curran Quality Improvement Award. This award recognizes a Florida hospital that has made a measurable and sustained positive change in a major perinatal quality improvement issue through the implementation of quality improvement activities within the previous three years.

Wolfson Children’s Hospital receiving the 2018 John Curran Quality Improvement Award

This year’s winner was Wolfson Children’s Hospital for their “NICU Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections Reduction” project. Wolfson Children’s Hospital received a ribbon and will be recognized at a celebration at their facility.

The FPQC presented its first FPQC Director’s Award to Manuel E. Fermin, Chief Executive Officer for the Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade, for the support with FPQC’s efforts to reduce primary cesarean deliveries in Miami-Dade. The FPQC Director Award was created to recognize exceptional leadership and support of FPQC initiatives.

Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade receiving the FPQC Director’s Award

More than 95% of participants rated the usefulness of the information provided at the conference and the value for increasing knowledge and confidence in carrying out QI projects as very appropriate.

“I really enjoyed the conference; great venue, great speakers, great topics, great food. Thank you!” – Conference attendee

The FPQC has started planning for the eighth annual conference, which will take place Thursday and Friday, April 4-5, 2019 in Tampa. Hope to see you there!


For more information on the FPQC, visit FPQC.org.