Making sure that patients know that babies born after 39 weeks do better than those born earlier was one of the first steps that ThedaCare staff took as they set out to reduce early elective deliveries (EED).
The team placed patient education materials in clinics in an effort to spread the word on why it is best to avoid an early delivery if it is not medically indicated.
“We decided to work on this initiative because of the overwhelming evidence that babies born after 39 weeks are physiologically better off than those born earlier,” said Lisa Reed, AMC Family Birth Center Supervisor. “ThedaCare is committed to providing the best possible start in life to all of our newborns and this is one of the ways that we are honoring that commitment.”
After education, and regardless of gestational age, an induction consent signed by the patient and physician is now required for all inductions. After that, the team revamped the induction policy to reflect the American College of Gynecologists recommendation to not induce before 39 weeks, unless there is a medical indication. Schedulers at the birth center received an induction prioritization guide as a reference.
“Since the implementation of our hard stop policy in May, 2013, we have had only one induction that did not meet the criteria elective delivery < 39 weeks,” said Sara Bronson, AMC/TC Birth Center Clinical Specialist.
Lisa said the webinars that the WHA staff holds on a regular basis have been very helpful, as have the reminders to continue to implement “small tests of change.” ThedaCare staff continues to do daily monitoring of all inductions.
“From the providers to the schedulers to the staff, everyone has to learn a new process which takes time and patience,” according to Lisa. “Best practices always win out in the end.”
This article was provided by the Wisconsin Hospital Association.