Sets Sights on Improved Patient Safety and Quality for Obstetrics and ER Care

December 9, 1009 – Gerber Memorial Health Services (GMHS) is now participating in recently expanded statewide patient safety collaboratives focused on protecting mothers, newborns and emergency patients. The patient safety collaboratives, coordinated by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality, are known as MHA Keystone: Emergency Room (ER) and MHA Keystone: Obstetrics (OB).

MHA Keystone: ER seeks to prevent patient harm in hospital emergency rooms by improving safety, reducing overcrowding, and treating sepsis (blood poisoning) in the early stages. Seventy-one hospitals are now participating in this statewide initiative through interventions that will help ensure that the most critically ill patients receive treatment first and reduce the likelihood that a patient will leave a hospital before receiving appropriate care.

MHA Keystone: OB seeks to prevent harm to mothers giving birth and their newborn babies. Sixty-seven Michigan hospitals are now participating in the MHA Keystone: OB collaborative, which primarily focuses on timely interventions for elective induction of labor, coordinating a safe progression of labor, and appropriate responses to fetal distress. The interventions for MHA Keystone: OB include improving patient safety through influencing attitudes and practices.

“Patient safety and quality is at the very center of what we do,” said Barb Wainright, Director of Quality Management at GMHS. “Our participation in MHA Keystone: ER and MHA Keystone: OB will further ensure our patients receive the safest, highest quality care, and that both patient and staff satisfaction will increase.”

Both initiatives began as pilot projects in the fall of 2008 and have since incorporated the lessons learned through their early stages. These collaboratives, like all coordinated by the MHA Keystone Center, are positioned for success as a result of the center’s ability to bring large numbers of hospitals together in a single improvement initiative, allowing unprecedented collaboration and expedited results.

Participation in this new collaboration is the latest in patient safety and quality efforts already under way at GMHS, including:

  1. Staff recap following surgical procedures to identify areas of process improvement
  2. Reduction of inefficient processes so that nurses spend more time at the patient’s bedside
  3. Identification of opportunities for improving medication and disease management
  4. Creation of a “culture of safety” by (for example) promoting hand hygiene by staff and visitors

“Since the founding of the MHA Keystone Center by Michigan hospitals in 2003, the state’s dedicated health care professionals have established themselves as leaders in delivering safe, effective and the highest quality health care,” said MHA President Spencer Johnson. “Nearly every Michigan hospital has participated in one or more collaboratives sharing evidence-based best practices to prevent infections, reduce surgery complications and hospital inpatient days, improve patient safety, reduce health care costs and establish a culture of safety.”

GMHS was one of the first Michigan hospitals to join the original Keystone collaborative, in 2003, which focused on quality and safety in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The Keystone Project is now serving as a model for other health care organizations to follow across the country.

The following hospitals have committed to joining the collaboratives:

Hospital Systems:

Beaumont Hospitals Henry Ford Health System McLaren Health Care

MidMichigan Health

Oakwood Healthcare Inc.

ProMedica Health System

Sparrow Health System

Spectrum Health

St. John Health

Trinity Health

Individual Hospitals (West Michigan):

Allegan General Hospital (ER)

Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo (ER) (OB)

Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo (OB)

Gerber Memorial Health Services, Fremont (ER) (OB)

Holland Hospital (ER) (OB)

Ionia County Memorial Hospital Corporation, Ionia (ER)

Mecosta County Medical Center, Big Rapids (ER) (OB)

Memorial Medical Center of West Michigan, Ludington (ER) (OB)

West Shore Medical Center, Manistee (OB)

Zeeland Community Hospital (ER) (OB)

Michigan Health & Hospital Association and MHA Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality

The MHA is a state association, based in Lansing, which represents and supports Michigan hospitals, health systems and health care providers through education, advocacy and communication. The MHA Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality was created in March 2003 as a nonprofit division of the MHA Health Foundation and is headquartered at the MHA in Lansing. The MHA Keystone Center brings together hospitals, state and national experts and best-practice evidence to improve patient safety by addressing the quality of health care delivery at the bedside. The MHA Keystone Center is a nonprofit organization and has been funded, to date, by MHA-member hospitals, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and state and federal grants. For more information, visit www.MHAKeystoneCenter.org.