FPQC 2017 Conference “informative and relevant” for improving perinatal care quality



The Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative held its 2017 annual conference on April 27 and 28. The sixth annual conference attracted more than 220 obstetricians, neonatologists, nurses, midwives, and public health and quality improvement stakeholders from across the state. The event was an opportunity for perinatal health care professionals to join a statewide conversation on improving the quality of healthcare for mothers, infants, and families. Many attendees called this year’s conference thought-provoking, informative, and relevant to their practice.

Lee Health Team Receiving John Curran Quality Improvement Award Ribbon

Dr. John Curran, Founding Director of the FPQC, presented the FPQC’s first 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 indicator/issue through the implementation of quality improvement activities within the previous three years. The winner of the 2017 John Curran Award is Lee Health for their project “Decreasing Maternal Morbidity in a Multi-Hospital System.” Lee Health received a ribbon and will be recognized at a celebration at their health system hospitals. The University of Florida Jacksonville received an honorable mention for their project “Successful Reduction of Moderate-Severe Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH) Using an IVH Bundle: A Quality Improvement Project.”

Heather Barrow of High Risk Hope shared the story of her hospital stay on bed rest and in the neonatal intensive care unit, pointing out key interactions with hospital staff and highlighting how care providers can better interact and empower patients during and after their hospital stay. Attendees greatly enjoyed her engaging and informative presentation on how to be a “match in the darkness” for patients rather than a ‘fire extinguisher’. Attendees also enjoyed the addition of the parent perspective on a panel to discuss challenges with the periviable infant which also included an ethicist, an obstetrician, and a neonatologist. Many participants noted that the most useful thing they learned during the conference was a better understanding of the patient perspective.

Dr. Sonja Rasmussen of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Carina Blackmore of the Florida Department of Health presented on the latest information regarding Zika, which attendees found very insightful and useful for their practice.

Judette Louis and Jessica Brumley presented on Reduction of Peripartum Racial/Ethnic Discrimination

Paula Meier, director for clinical research and lactation in the neonatal intensive care unit at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago presented on mother’s own milk for very low birth weight infants and the science on the limitations of donor human milk. She presented best practices that optimize high-dose long exposure to mother’s own milk in the neonatal intensive care unit.

BZ Giese, Director of the South Carolina Birth Outcomes Initiative, provided an overview of the impressive improvements in infant mortality made through the initiative, as well as valuable information on how to implement immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) to improve birth outcomes.

Dr. Maren Batalden, Associate Chief Quality Officer at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts, presented a conceptual model for co-production of care with patients and families, explaining the degree to which health outcomes related to quality and safety are inevitably co-produced and how engaging with patients can lead to better partnerships and outcomes.

Heather Murphy, CNM, demonstrating demonstrating supporting vaginal birth skills

William M. Sappenfield, Director of the FPQC, presented the State of the Collaborative, bringing stakeholders and attendees up-to-date on statewide collaborative efforts to improve healthcare quality for mothers and infants. He also announced the upcoming FPQC initiatives: Access LARC, Promoting Primary Vaginal Deliveries (PROVIDE), and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Recruitment for PROVIDE and Access LARC will launch in summer of 2017, and the NAS project in the summer of 2018.

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: Racial and ethnic health disparities, Florida hospitals working on neonatal abstinence syndrome, supporting vaginal birth skills for nurses, antibiotic stewardship, the FPQC’s perinatal quality indicator system and new birth certificate accuracy pilot project, the FPQC’s mother’s own milk initiative panel of hospital participants, a panel of the FPQC’s hypertension in pregnancy initiative participants, and a panel from Jacksonville’s pilot to increase access to immediate postpartum LARC.

Tampa General Hospital Team with their poster on Implementation of Intermittent Auscultation in Low Risk Laboring Women

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 was a tie: “Lacto-Manufacturing: Establishing the Need for a NICU Milk Room and Milk Room Technicians” from a team from Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies; and Implementation of Intermittent Auscultation for Low Risk Laboring Women from a team from Tampa General Hospital.  An honorable mention was given to a team from the Florida Department of Health for their poster “Ten Years of Pregnancy-Related Deaths in Florida, 2006-2015.”

Conference attendees found the conference valuable for learning about past, current, and upcoming quality improvement initiatives, appreciated the opportunity to hear what other states and other hospitals in Florida are working on, and enjoyed networking and learning from one another. Many practitioners left with helpful tips and tools to take back to their healthcare facilities to improve care. The FPQC is making plans for our 2018 conference—plan to join us Thursday and Friday, April 19-20, 2018 in Tampa!