FPQC 2016: Fifth Annual Florida Perinatal Quality Conference is Best Yet


The Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative presented its fifth annual conference on April 7 and 8, 2016 in Tampa, FL, attracting more than 230 attendees from all over the state from a variety of disciplines.

This two-day educational program is an opportunity for perinatal health professionals and stakeholders to share information on the planning and implementation of QI initiatives and learn about evidence-based practices at the institutional, community, state and national levels.

Maya QI Panel

Panel Moderator: Maya Balakrishnan, Panelists: Nancy Travis, Adolfo Gonzalez-Garcia, Mitchell Stern, Jayne Solomon

FPQC Director William M. Sappenfield, MD, MPH, CPH, opened the annual meeting by presenting the State of the Collaborative, bringing stakeholders and attendees up-to-date on statewide collaborative efforts to improve healthcare quality for mothers and infants. Dr. Sappenfield also honored Dr. John Curran, FPQC Founding Director, announcing the John Curran Award. Starting next year, this brand new recognition will be awarded to the hospital who makes the most improvement during an FPQC quality improvement initiative.

Dr. Maya Balakrishnan, MD, neonatologist and assistant professor from the University of South Florida, led a discussion with a panel of maternal and neonatal healthcare physicians and nurses on how to promote a hospital quality improvement culture. Panelists shared how they’ve engaged their department, tips for getting QI done, and ways they’ve celebrated successes at their hospital. Audience members had the opportunity to share their challenges and request ideas for use in their own facility.

Dr. David Lagrew Jr., MD, member of the executive committee of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), discussed national and regional efforts to reduce primary cesarean sections. Dr. Lagrew promoted the AIM (Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health) patient safety bundle on Safe Reduction of Primary Cesarean Births and announced the coming of a CMQCC toolkit on Promoting Vaginal Birth.

Panel Moderator: Judette Louis, Panelists: Karen Harris, Jeffrey Angel, Martha DeCastro, Mark Bloom

Panel Moderator: Judette Louis, Panelists:  Mark Bloom, Martha DeCastro, Jeffrey Angel, Karen Harris

Presenting clinical pearls related to hypertension in pregnancy, Julie Vasher, DNP, RNC-OB, CNS, C-EFM Clinical Implementation Lead for the CMQCC and the California Partnership for Maternal Safety, offered a valuable nursing prospective on this hot topic.

Parent Conversation small

Eleni Tsigas and Erin Gillespie

Director of the Preeclampsia Foundation, a national patient advocacy organization, Eleni Tsigas, led an important, moving discussion with a parent to share the patient perspective of maternal and neonatal health care in perinatal crises.

A panel session on the new ACOG Maternal Levels of Care prompted a great deal of discussion among participants. The panelists and audience explored ways in which these designations could be useful, reasons why hospitals may or may not want to self-designate, asked questions about what the levels mean, and explored what impact the levels of care may have on the system.

Munish Gupta

Munish Gupta

New at this year’s conference was a session focused entirely on using quality improvement data measurement, namely run charts and control charts, in hospital quality improvement efforts. Munish Gupta, MD, MMSc, Chair of the Neonatal Quality Improvement Collaborative of Massachusetts (NeoQIC), who used examples from his collaborative’s human milk project, kept this session entertaining for attendees despite its complexity.

Attendees 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. Maureen Groer, PhD, RN, FAAN presented on Milk and the Gut Microbiome with an emphasis on very low birth weight infants. Julie DeCesare, MD, Lisa Gardner, RN, MSN, and Donald Wilson, MD presented on their current efforts to address high primary cesarean rates here in Florida. FPQC collaborative members presented breakouts on current projects: Dr. Karen Bruder presented on the Antenatal Corticosteroid Treatment project, the FPQC team presented on the new Perinatal Quality Indicators system, and Ivonne Hernandez, PhD, RN, IBCLC presented on the new FPQC infant health project focusing on mother’s own milk in the NICU. Judette Louis, MD, MPH led an interactive session on the Hypertension in Pregnancy Initiative, and Annette Phelps, ARNP moderated a panel of Obstetric Hemorrhage Initiative hospitals; both sessions provided an opportunity for participating and non-participating hospitals to collaborate on these maternal health projects.

MOM breakout

Breakout 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.”

Poster Room

Posters and Exhibitors

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 “Assessing Preventability of Maternal Deaths in Florida in 2013” from authors Leticia Hernandez, Rhonda Brown, and Ashlee Morgan from the Florida Department of Health. Honorable Mentions included: “Retrospective Analysis of NTSV Cesarean Delivery Rate with a Feedback and Monitoring Program at Sacred Heart Health System” by Reesa Child, Julie DeCesare, Ashley Morton, Lisa Gardner, and Laura Ambler; “Hospital Differences in Unexpected Complications Among Term Newborns” by Yuri Sebastiao, Lindsay Womack, Humberto Lopez-Castillo, Maya Balakrishnan, Karen Bruder, Paige Alitz, and FPQC staff; and “Enhancing Outcomes with Donor Milk in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit” by Jessa Canals-Alonso, Marcia Shultz, and Karen Howell.

The FPQC received overwhelmingly positive reviews of the Fifth Annual Conference. Several participants expressed that this conference is one they look forward to every year, and that this was the best FPQC annual meeting yet. Those new to the conference found the meeting very informative and pertinent to many hospitals settings. The FPQC is pleased that this year’s speakers and topics were well-received, and looks forward to planning our 2017 conference.


Written by Emily A. Bronson