IHA case studies

Transformation of Perinatal Quality and Safety in an Urban Safety Net Hospital


A history as a resource-challenged urban safety net hospital with a high-risk population, a lack of consistent and effective leadership and the absence of hard-wired clinical practices resulted in a perinatal program that failed to meet established standards or leadership’s expectations. This was evidenced by suboptimal performance on perinatal outcomes and confirmed by an unsuccessful redesignation survey by the state in November 2012.

Through a comprehensive review of clinical practices, resource availability, leadership structure and community-specific needs, the hospital devised and executed a clearly defined strategy for improving clinical quality and safety and establishing a patient-focused culture for perinatal services. The goal was to significantly improve outcome measures disproportionately impacting the patient population, including fetal and neonatal deaths, preterm elective deliveries, breastfeeding rates, pain management and the birth certificate process.

The results showed significant improvement in each clinical domain, a shift in cultural approach to quality and safety and improved patient satisfaction. The hospital was successfully redesignated by the state in June 2014.

This case study is part of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association's annual Quality Excellence Achievement Awards. Each year, IHA recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Illinois hospitals and health systems in continually improving and transforming health care in the state. These organizations are improving health by striving to achieve the Triple Aim—improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care—and the Institute of Medicine’s six aims for improvement—safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. To learn more, visit https://www.ihaqualityawards.org/javascript-ui/IHAQualityAward/

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