Community-based organizations take the stage at PA PQC Learning Collaborative

Clinical Nurse Specialist Deborah Cruz of Jefferson University Hospital presents on multidisciplinary review

More than 200 members of Pennsylvania's Perinatal Quality Collaborative gathered in Harrisburg last week to share insights and advances around their efforts to improve the quality of care for mothers and babies across prenatal, labor/birth, newborn, and postpartum services.

They included medical professionals, social workers, quality and safety leaders, and health plan administrators from the 60 birth sites and NICUs and 11 health plans that are participating in the PA PQC. They were joined by members of dozens of community organizations from across the Commonwealth.

A panel of community leaders from the Maternity Care Coalition serving Philadelphia and the southeast; the Foundation for Delaware County; the Family Health Council of Central PA, and Reading Hospital's center on Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) described how they can work with the PQC sites on their quality improvement projects related to maternal OUD, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), and maternal mortality.

PA PQC teams participated in a speed networking activity to learn about each other's quality improvement projects as a way to spread best practices and break through common challenges.

Dr. Jason Baxter and Clinical Nurse Specialist Deborah Cruz from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital shared their experience conducting multidisciplinary reviews on severe maternal morbidity cases.

From Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Dr. Gary Stoner and Peer Engagement Specialist Franca Dalibor were joined by a patient who shared her story, noting that the team was non-judgmental and "treated me like a human. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here."

PQC teams shared insights with each other about key interventions for adopting the Eat, Sleep, Console Care Tool for NAS, implementing Plans of Safe Care for moms and babies affected by substance use, post-partum hypertension and hemorrhage protocols, and reducing the time to treatment for severe hypertension.

Before heading back to their home institutions, the teams huddled to synthesize what they heard and to update their quality improvement projects.

Launched in April, the PA PQC is a network of teams that identify processes that need to be improved and quickly adopt best practices to achieve collective aims. It is comprised of 60 birth sites and more 11 health plans, accounting for more than 80 percent of the state's births.

The PQC is supported by the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf with a grant to bolster Pennsylvania's response to the opioid epidemic, and by a grant from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation. It is overseen by a statewide advisory group, and administered by JHF and WHAMglobal, an operating arm of JHF. The PA PQC serves as an action arm of the Maternal Mortality Review Committee in Pennsylvania, and works with the Northeastern PA PQC. 

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