Lee Health Earns Inaugural Perinatal Quality Improvement Award

(Fort Myers, Fla. – June 2, 2017) --- Lee Health has been awarded the inaugural Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative (FPQC) John Curran Quality Improvement Award for its efforts in decreasing maternal morbidity. In application for this award, Lee Health submitted its quality improvement project titled “Decreasing Maternal Morbidity in a Multi Hospital System.” Carol Lawrence, PhD, Lee Health obstetrical administration supervisor, perinatal practice, education, research and lactation, accepted the award at the FPQC Annual Conference in Tampa, April 27-28. The Lee Health Board of Directors recognized the team’s success at the June 1 board meeting.

According to the FPQC, the leading causes of maternal morbidity in Florida include obstetric hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders. Lee Health, which has three obstetric delivery hospitals, including one Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center (RPICC), organized a multidisciplinary team to address this growing health concern. Lee Health defined maternal morbidity as the receipt of four or more blood products and/or intensive care unit (ICU) admission.

“Our team recognized the key components to decrease morbidity specific to obstetric hemorrhage (OHI) and hypertensive disorders (HIP), and we researched evidence-based best practices, implemented trainings and standardized protocols,” Lawrence explains. The team’s efforts and persistence resulted in favorable measures, including the decreased rate of ICU admissions:

  • 0.58% in 2014
  • 0.50% in 2015
  • 0.40% in 2016

The system’s baseline rate for women receiving four or more transfusions was 0.0030% for July – September 2013 and decreased to 0.0017% post-implementation of new standards and protocols.

“We are very proud to earn this prestigious award and to be recognized for the work we are doing to decrease the risk for maternal morbidity,” Lawrence says. “Our rates of maternal morbidity have decreased but our commitment and work will continue until we reach a rate of zero.”

The John Curran Quality Improvement Award recognizes a Florida delivery hospital that has made a measurable and sustained positive change in a major perinatal quality improvement indicator/issue through the implementation of quality improvement activities within the last three years.

The FPQC is a joint effort of perinatal health-related practitioners from a variety of professions and specialties, statewide organizations, individuals, advocates, educators, policymakers, hospitals and payers working together in the development of joint quality improvement initiatives, the advancement of data-driven best practices, and the promotion of education and training.

Cutline (from left): Chris Jabaay, RN, OB nursing director, HealthPark Medical Center; John Curran; Nancy Travis, RN, nursing director, Women’s Care Center, Cape Coral Hospital; and Natasha Saavedra, supervisor, Labor & Delivery, Gulf Coast Medical Center celebrate Lee Health’s Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative John Curran Quality Improvement Award.


About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org


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