FPQC 2015: Fourth Annual Conference focused on quality improvement tips for maternal and infant health


The Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative Conference presented its fourth annual conference on April 23 and 24, 2015 in Tampa, FL, attracting more than 230 attendees from all over the state from a variety of disciplines.

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This annual two-day educational program is intended to expand the knowledge and skill base for perinatal health care practitioners in a range of vocations and specialties as well as other perinatal health-related professionals in the identification of quality improvement (QI) opportunities, the planning and implementation of QI initiatives and the advancement of evidence-based practices at the institutional, community, state and national levels.

Dr. Suresh, Guest National Speaker, and Dr. Balakrishnan, FPQC Clinical Lead

Dr. Suresh, Guest National Speaker, and Dr. Balakrishnan, FPQC Clinical Lead

Bryan Oshiro, MD, Associate Professor of Loma Linda University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and Chief Medical Officer of Health Catalyst, discussed antenatal corticosteroid administration and the importance of increasing the rate but also improving the percentage of babies who receive them in the optimal period of time in which they will benefit. Gautham K. Suresh, Neonatologist and Medical Director of the Newborn Center at Texas Children’s Hospital, outlined tips on achieving sustainable results in perinatal quality improvement and change culture, noted in attendee evaluations as one of the most useful things learned during the conference.

Barbara Murphy, MSN, RN, Director of Perinatal Programs at Stamford University and Administrative Director of CPQCC and CMQCC, presented on improving the health care response to preeclampsia, presenting California’s approach to planning quality improvement projects and recommendations for the management of hypertension in pregnancy. Participants found both this presentation and her Friday presentation on how to do and sustain quality improvement at the hospital level very enjoyable, engaging, and applicable to all audiences.

Dr. Hernandez Suarez and Dr. Curran present questions the Medicaid Managed Care Roll-Out session panel

Dr. Hernandez Suarez and Dr. Curran pose questions to the Medicaid Managed Care Roll-Out session panel

Attendees appreciated hearing the discussion during a panel of representatives from the FPQC Golden Hour Delivery Room Management project who shared their experiences. The Medicaid Managed Care Roll-Out panel was a session that started important conversations about care plans and prompted numerous questions.

William M. Sappenfield, MD, MPH, co-director of the FPQC, provided an overview of the state of the Collaborative and urged individuals and hospitals to get involved as a member and in upcoming projects. “It is exciting to see that together, the FPQC is making a measurable difference in the health of mothers and infants,” he said. “This conference provided needed information for sustaining this effort.”

Attendees participated in break-out sessions on breast milk usage in the neonatal intensive care unit, reducing primary low-risk cesarean sections, Strong Start, the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in Florida, perinatal indicators, simulations and sim labs, and upcoming FPQC projects on hypertension in pregnancy and antenatal steroids. These sessions provided the opportunity for sharing experiences, discussion, and exploration of new areas of perinatal quality improvement.

Golden Hour Delivery Room Management session

Golden Hour Delivery Room Management session

Several opportunities for networking were provided, which participants appreciated and found valuable. Participants reported that they learned a lot from the techniques and successes of others, and that “knowledge, energy, and enthusiasm are contagious.” The conference also provided a great opportunity for students and residents to showcase their research.

Emily Oster and Malee Puckley, First Place winners of the Poster Contest

Emily Oster and Malee Puckley, First Place winners of the Poster Contest

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 winner was “Primary Cesarean Section Reduction Initiative: An OB/GYN Practice’s Experience,” from presenters Emily Oster, Malee Puckley, and Donald Wilson with Women’s Care Florida. Honorable Mentions included: “Perinatal Quality Improvement Initiative: What’s the Status of Florida’s Perinatal Health?” presented by lead authors Lindsay Womack and Humberto Lopez Castillo; and “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Management to Decrease Length of Hospital Stay,” authored by Richelle Reinhart, Karen Fugate, Terri Ashmeade, and Maya Balakrishnan.

The FPQC received overwhelmingly positive reviews of the Fourth Annual Conference. Several participants have expressed a new motivation to implement QI projects in their units and get involved more with the FPQC. The FPQC is pleased that this year’s speakers and topics were well-received, and looks forward to planning our 2016 conference.

Yuri Sebastiao, Taylor Caragan, Lindsay Womack, Humberto Lopez Castillo

Yuri Sebastiao, Taylor Caragan, Lindsay Womack, Humberto Lopez Castillo: FPQC Graduate Assistants


Written by: Emily Bronson, MA, MPH