Officials at Mercy Medical Center recognized the team of nurses and physicians for extensive work on a project that has received state and national recognition. Employees and physicians were recognized at a celebration on Wednesday, April 11, for the achievements in the Perinatal Patient Safety Initiative (PPSI), a multi-year project that centered on providing the highest quality and safest care for mothers and infants during labor and birth.
In March, Mercy was awarded the overall Patient Safety Award from Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) Patient Safety Conference held in Des Moines. The IHC Award recognizes healthcare providers and organizations that demonstrate outstanding leadership and achievement in patient safety. Dr. Tom Evans, President and CEO of IHC said, “This award allows us to highlight some of the best efforts in our state as we work toward our vision of delivering the most effective and efficient health care in the nation.” Accepting the award for Mercy were Colleen Meggers, Director of Mercy’s Maternal Child Services, Laura Gassman, Nurse Supervisor, Robert Donnelly, MD, OB/GYN with Medical Associates, and Amy Berentes, VP of Patient Care Services at Mercy.
In addition to the IHC award, Mercy was recognized among the hospitals in the Trinity Health (Novi, MI) system with two patient safety awards, and received an invitation to present the project findings at the Hospital Engagement Network in Washington, DC, next month.
The perinatal project began in 2009 and focused on standardizing high risk obstetrical practices. The project focused on five areas, including pain management, assessment, second-stage labor management, professional practice and labor induction and augmentation. In each area, a team of physicians and nurses worked to incorporate operational and clinical practices based on professional established guidelines and standards, as well as practices supported by scientific evidence. The implementation of these practices have lead to a decrease in the number of days that newborns stay in the hospital, reduced the number of newborn transfers to a higher level of care and improved overall satisfaction for patients.
“Our focus on quality, safety and service to our patients is evident in this initiative,” said Sean Williams, President and CEO of Mercy Medical Center, “The journey is truly impressive. This is really a matter of going to the far extreme of performance and being recognized statewide, nationally, at Trinity Health (Novi, Michigan) and now being invited to present at Washington, DC. I commend each and every one of you for your hard work, commitment and dedication to this vital initiative.”
As part of the initiative, all of Mercy’s Obstetrical team of nurses and physicians took the national certification exam for Electronic Fetal Monitoring in the fall of 2011. The certification is an added qualification for health care professionals to gain and demonstrate advanced knowledge in the fetal monitoring technology. Electronic Fetal Monitoring is used to detect and graph the fetal heart rate and uterine contractions during labor. These graphs are interpreted by nurses and physicians in order to monitor oxygen to the baby and the labor progress.
“We had outstanding success by achieving a 97 percent pass rate (on the EFM certification exam) compared to a national average of 69 percent,” said Colleen Meggers, Director of Mercy Maternal Child Services, adding “this is just phenomenal and I’m so proud of all the work that our Mercy team did.”
Amy Berentes, VP of Patient Care Services closed the event by adding comments and congratulations for the work and accomplishments.
“It really was a journey to excellence. You represented excellence in patient care in so many different ways,” said Berentes, adding “we can’t be more proud of those accomplishments. I don’t know if we talked about how hard it really was to go from a way that we’ve practiced for so many years to a very new practice, new standards and new ways of doing things. And yet here we are in a much different point, giving the care and seeing the outcomes as a result.”