Teams of Mercy Medical Center nurses and physicians were recognized Wednesday night for their work on a project that recently received state and national recognition.
“You’ve represented excellence in patient care in so many different ways,” Amy Berentes, vice president of Patient Care Services at Mercy, said at Wednesday’s recognition banquet. “And we can’t be more proud of those accomplishments.”
The banquet recognized employees and physicians for achievements in the Perinatal Patient Safety Initiative, 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 at the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative Patient Safety Conference held in Des Moines. The IHC Award recognizes healthcare providers and organizations that demonstrate outstanding leadership and achievement in patient safety. Accepting the award for Mercy were Director of Mercy’s Maternal Child Services Colleen Meggers, Nurse Supervisor Laura Gassman, Robert Donnelly, MD, OB/GYN with Medical Associates, and Berentes.
“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,” Dr. Tom Evans, President and CEO, of IHC said in a press release.
Mercy was also recognized among the hospitals in the Trinity Health (Novi, Mich.) system with two patient safety awards, and received an invitation to present the project findings at the Hospital Engagement Network in Washington, D.C., on May 22 and 23.
“Our focus on quality, safety and service to our patients is evident in this initiative,” Sean Williams, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center, said in a press release. “I commend each and every one of you for your hard work, commitment and dedication to this vital initiative.
The perinatal project began in 2009 and focused on standardizing high risk obstetrical practices. The project focused on five areas: pain management; fetal assessment; second-stage labor management; professional practice; labor induction and augmentation.
A team of physicians and nurses worked in each area to incorporate operational and clinical practices based on professional established guidelines and standards, as well as practices that were 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.
“Your success speaks for itself,” Williams said Wednesday night. “No one else even in our region of this tri-state area, bi-state area measures up to where the bar that you have now set and you have now achieved.”
As part of the initiative, all of Mercy’s obstetrical nurses and physicians took the national certification exam for electronic fetal monitoring in the fall of 2011. This 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 and these graphs are interpreted by nurses and physicians to monitor oxygen to the baby and the labor progress.
Meggers highlighted the fact that 97 percent of the Mercy staff taking this exam passed. The national success rate for this exam is 69 percent. Meggers said this was a phenomenal result and probably the highest pass rate in the area.
“I just am privileged to work with all of you and to have a great team to be a leader of. You guys are so committed and dedicated to your moms and babies. There’s not a day that goes by that you guys don’t do great things up there,” Meggers said during the banquet.