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NJHA Announces Quality Improvement Effort for Perinatal Care
Date:11/12/2008

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New Jersey Hospital Association today announced the creation of a statewide quality collaborative to improve perinatal care for the state's mothers and newborns.

The effort will include a coordinated approach, bringing together hospital leaders, physicians, nurses, midwives and others to meet regularly in a collaborative environment, supported by expert faculty, to discuss the problems and challenges in perinatal care. They will share problems, strategies, lessons learned and best practices to improve prenatal care for both mothers and newborns.

"Our hospitals have been working hard to improve quality on numerous fronts, but I can think of few efforts more important than ensuring that expectant moms receive the healthcare services they need to deliver healthy babies," said NJHA President and CEO Betsy Ryan.

Heather Howard, commissioner of the state's Department of Health and Senior Services, has agreed to co-chair the effort.

"I am pleased to accept NJHA's invitation to serve as co-chair of the Perinatal Learning Collaborative. Serving as co-chair will provide an opportunity to expand upon the Department of Health and Senior Services' work to implement New Jersey's Prenatal Task Force recommendations," said Howard. "I look forward to working with hospital leaders, doctors, midwives and other advocates to overcome challenges we face in perinatal care and achieve a more effective and safer perinatal care system that will give the youngest New Jerseyans a healthy start in life."

NJHA applauded the March of Dimes for its work in raising awareness of the importance of good perinatal care. The group today released a report card that gave the Garden State poor marks for its rate of pre-term births, late pre-term births (a reflection of cesarean section rates) and the number of uninsured women.

"The March of Dimes report card points out there are many critical factors in caring for expectant mothers and their babies," said Aline Holmes, RN, NJHA's senior vice president of clinical affairs. "Our collaborative will examine the most pressing issues - from communication between caregivers, to educating mothers-to-be about cesarean sections - and zero in on the key factors where we can make a significant difference in improving care and patient outcomes."

The new collaborative will come under the auspices of NJHA's Institute for Quality and Patient Safety. The institute has used the collaborative model successfully in several other areas, yielding significant results in reducing the number of healthcare-acquired infections, reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers and improving care in hospital intensive care units.


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SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association
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