Advancing Patient Safety through Process Improvements

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The department of Women's and Children's Services at the Hospital of Saint Raphael (HSR) in New Haven, CT, has initiated several different and successful approaches to reducing patient risk within the department. The department purchased a computerized fetal monitoring and documentation program that has improved the ability to provide high-level antepartal care for mothers and fetuses with automatic patient data management and continuous fetal heart rate surveillance. A Risk Reduction Grant offered through the hospital malpractice insurance program provided the financial assistance for all medical providers to become certified in electronic fetal monitoring. The certification is now a required educational standard for nurses, certified nurse midwives, and for physicians who work in the labor and delivery unit. Infant and pediatric security is incorporated into policy and practice measures that include hospital-wide drills for the prevention of infant abduction. The Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) Quality Improvement Committee supports systematic reviews of identified clinical risks and works to find viable solutions to these problems. The hospital has supported specialized obstetrical care through the Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit (MFMU), Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Inpatient Pediatric Unit, and the labor and delivery unit. In addition, HSR has initiated an enhanced medical informed consent that is available online for providers and a patient education tool that includes a computer room at the hospital for patient use.

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