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Integrated Approach to Reduce Perinatal Adverse Events: Standardized Processes, Interdisciplinary Teamwork Training, and Performance Feedback

Objective: To improve safety practices and reduce adverse events in perinatal units of acute care hospitals.

Data Sources: Primary data collected from perinatal units of 14 hospitals participating in the intervention between 2008 and 2012. Baseline secondary data collected from the same hospitals between 2006 and 2007.

Study Design: A prospective study involving 342,754 deliveries was conducted using a quality improvement collaborative that supported three primary interventions. Primary measures include adoption of three standardized care processes and four measures of outcomes.

Data Collection Methods: Chart audits were conducted to measure the implementation of standardized care processes. Outcome measures were collected and validated by the National Perinatal Information Center.

Principal Findings: The hospital perinatal units increased use of all three care processes, raising consolidated overall use from 38 to 81 percent between 2008 and 2012. The harms measured by the Adverse Outcome Index decreased 14 percent, and a run chart analysis revealed two special causes associated with the interventions.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the ability of hospital perinatal staff to implement efforts to reduce perinatal harm using a quality improvement collaborative. Findings help inform the relationship between the use of standardized care processes, teamwork training, and improved perinatal outcomes, and suggest that a multiplicity of integrated strategies, rather than a single intervention, may be essential to achieve high reliability.

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