Maternal Health-Focused Patient Safety Fellowship Kicks Off

Where is the safest and most comprehensive perinatal program in Pennsylvania? How are maternal health practitioners factoring "implementation science" into their programs? On June 4, this summer's Patient Safety Fellowship kicked off with the unique opportunity to combine Jewish Healthcare Foundation's signature quality improvement methodology (Perfecting Patient CareSM) with a newly integrated focus on maternal health. Fellows will work alongside five members of the newly formed Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) to examine how health systems throughout the commonwealth are improving maternal health outcomes. 

Karen Feinstein leads a panel during a Patient Safety Fellowship Session with a representative from each participating PA PQC site. In person: Nancy Cupps, MSN, UPMC; and Deborah McDonald, RN, Allegheny Health Network; On the screen: Elissa Concini, MSN, Geisinger Health System; Sindhu Srinivas, MD, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; and Brian Wilcox, MD, Moses Taylor Hospital.

The diverse cohort of 30 Patient Safety Fellows includes representatives from nine colleges in the region and 17 disciplines. They are exploring how to improve maternal health outcomes, while learning and applying models for quality improvement and implementation science to identify what sets them apart from their peers. Participants are AHN West Penn Hospital, Geisinger Health System in Danville, Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, Penn Medicine Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.

From late June throughout early July, the fellows are interviewing practitioners at each of the five hospitals about their perinatal care and their quality improvement projects. They will analyze their qualitative and the submitted quantitative data to identify which of the five hospitals has the most comprehensive quality improvement approach. That participant will receive the 2019 Patient Safety Award for Perinatal Care at the fellows' final meeting on July 30.

Fellows participate in brainstorming and collaborative learning exercises as part of the Patient Safety Fellowship.

The fellows have been enthusiastic in their engagement and appreciation for the opportunity. "As one with no prior experience in quality improvement or implementation science. the fellowship has been absolutely invaluable," said Elizabeth Balskus, a 2019 fellow and PhD student in healthcare ethics at Duquesne University. "It's been great to building upon my research skills."

Participating hospitals were selected based on their quality improvement projects, including efforts to address some of the following: severe hypertension, hemorrhage, depression, social determinants of health, substance use disorders, and opioid exposed newborns. The award was open to all PA PQC members.

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