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Baystate joining group to assist in childbirth care

SPRINGFIELD Baystate Medical Center recently announced it has been asked to join 15 other top hospitals in a national initiative to eliminate preventable harm to babies and mothers in late pregnancy and during the labor and delivery process. The Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative, organized by the Premier healthcare alliance, is a 21-month national collaborative designed to improve clinical processes, communication and collaboration among teams of caregivers in order to make birth injuries to infants now a rarity, occurring in less than one percent of all live births entirely a thing of the past. Baystate and its partners in the effort, representing 12 states, expect to deliver about 115,000 babies over the course of the initiative. Baystate is the only hospital in the Northeast participating. "We're proud to be a part of this national, data-driven effort to minimize the risks associated with childbirth not only because it will help us deliver even better perinatal care here at Baystate, but also because it will help make childbirth safer at every hospital in the country," said Molly Gray, RN, Director, Baystate Children's Hospital and Women's Services. "The safety of moms and babies is absolutely our paramount concern as we care for them during labor and delivery." Mothers deliver about 4,500 babies a year at Baystate Medical Center, which serves as the major referral care center for patients in the region, and has the only neonatal intensive care unit in Western Massachusetts. Baystate has earned the designation as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is recognized among the top hospitals in the country for quality and patient safety. The hospitals in the Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative aim to give patient safety an even-bigger place in their labor and delivery protocols and their institutional cultures by implementing "care bundles," groups of evidence-based interventions that are more effective when implemented together rather than individually. A care bundle compares a specific range of indications a baby's gestational age, his or her heart rate and the mother's cervical dilation, position and other measures, for example with nationally accepted standards and presents a best course of action for the safest possible delivery. The initiative will offer a number of tools to aid in the implementation of the care bundles, from communication techniques to crisis training. The initiative will also evaluate cost savings through supply chain improvements and the reduction of adverse events. "These care bundles, which follow published best practices and national standards established by leading women's health groups, are audited by participants to ensure implementation in an 'all-or-none' fashion," said Susan DeVore, chief operating officer of Premier. "The goal is to deliver all the bundle elements to each patient every time, unless a medical condition suggests otherwise." "This is really a unique initiative that brings together all the players in perinatal care doctors, nurses and others in a teamwork approach to improving safety in pregnancy and obstetrics," said Dr. Glenn Markenson, chief of obstetrics and maternal fetal medicine at Baystate Medical Center. "We're trying to eliminate some of the hierarchy in medicine and give everyone an equal say when patient safety is at stake." In the initiative, perinatal team members at Baystate Medical Center and other participating hospitals will conduct simulations of certain high-risk protocols so that they are fully prepared to take appropriate action in a worst-case scenario. Communication and teamwork will be stressed throughout. Data from participants will be collected and results measured against benchmarks from similar hospitals.

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