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October 1, 2021

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National Skills and Drills Initiative Focuses on Maternal Health Outcomes

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At 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, the United States suffers from a higher rate of maternal mortality than any other developed country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 60% of these deaths are preventable. TeamHealth’s National Skills and Drills Initiative is putting a spotlight on maternal health to equip OB/GYN Hospitalist programs across the nation with tools to improve outcomes.

TeamHealth’s National Skills and Drills Initiative

The Skills and Drills Initiative is spearheaded by Dr. Khadeja Haye, National Medical Director of TeamHealth OB/GYN Hospitalist services. The initiative features a set of competencies developed in coordination with Dr. Tiffany Remsing, Clinical Educator for TeamHealth OB/GYN Hospitalist programs nationwide. According to Dr. Remsing, the program includes a didactic session and a clinical scenario. “We wanted the program to be team-based to help identify system-based issues for improvement at each client site,” says Dr. Remsing.

The overall benefit, of course, is to improve patient safety by enhancing teamwork, communication and preparedness for such clinical events.”

Dr. Khadeja Haye, National Medical Director

The Facility Medical Director leads the didactic session, where they provide evidence-based information and align their team for each clinical scenario. Clinicians treat these as real-life scenarios and debrief afterward. Together, the team reviews what went well, what could be improved and more effective communication techniques.

The program currently offers didactics and clinical scenarios for four prevalent maternal health issues: postpartum hemorrhage, hypertensive emergency, shoulder dystocia and amniotic fluid embolism. Dr. Remsing notes that TeamHealth intends to expand the program with one to two new drills per year.

Program Partnership at SJMC

Recently, Dr. Anjali Sharma, TeamHealth Facility Medical Director of the OB/GYN Hospitalist program at St. Joseph’s Medical Center (SJMC), led a simulation at the facility to help nursing staff, community physicians and the program’s OB/GYN Hospitalists enhance their skills for emergent situations. As of June 2021, the team at SJMC has participated in two drills led by Dr. Sharma. These exercises covered postpartum hemorrhage and preeclampsia as well as obstetrical hypertensive emergencies. The program offers “a way to help the team maintain their knowledge and clinical skills when managing these urgent situations,” says Dr. Sharma.

We don’t want the team to say, ‘This is what I would do next.’ We want them to act as if it is a real scenario. This helps build memory of the skill.”

Dr. Anjali Sharma, Facility Medical Director

Running the simulations often helps Dr. Sharma and her team familiarize staff with challenging clinical scenarios. “The idea is to run the drills regularly so there is no delay in response to these acute situations,” says Dr. Sharma. It also allows SJMC to improve key performance metrics and increase safety for maternal patients. Clinical leaders hope the exercises will assist with SJMC’s perinatal initiative that measures how the program cares for patients experiencing severe hypertension. “Patient safety is absolutely the number one reason we do this,” says Dr. Sharma.

Improving Maternal Health Outcomes

According to Dr. Sharma, the outcome of the program is clear. Not long after the latest drills, the team experienced a patient with postpartum hemorrhage. When the nursing staff called Dr. Sharma to inform her, they had already taken many of the steps she intended. “That knowledge came straight from these drills. I was extremely proud of them. It made an obvious clinical difference,” says Dr. Sharma.

I’ve already seen proof the program is working. The idea is to repeat the skills so they are top of mind for clinical staff in any scenario. This means patients are safer and we improve our outcomes.”

Dr. Anjali Sharma, Facility Medical Director

As the first Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospitalist company in the country, TeamHealth has the experience and resources to help hospitals nationwide achieve their goals and provide higher quality care. Learn more about our unique program and partnering with TeamHealth by contacting us.