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A boost for maternal health
Hospital launches third year of program emphasizing patient safety through staff development

Samantha Stokell
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, December 15, 2011

Moms, babies and obstetrics team members celebrated the launch of the third and final stage of a program designed to improve patient safety through professional development at the Inuvik Regional Hospital on Dec. 7.

NNSL photo/graphic

The Inuvik Regional Hospital launched the third stage of the MORE Ob program, which is a comprehensive, three-year, patient safety, professional development, and performance improvement program for caregivers and administrators in hospital obstetrics units. These moms, who all gave birth in the hospital, came out to play games. From left: Kim Wainman with daughter Reese, Jen Picek with son Kingston, Danielle Nason with daughter Melanie Church, Stephanie Parkes with daughter Kaia and Marie-Eve Bissonnette with daughter Emilie. - Samantha Stokell/NNSL photo

There were refreshments available, as well as information on the program, and games for the parents.

The Inuvik Regional Hospital is starting the third year of the Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently (MORE Ob) program, which builds patient safety by creating a team environment where everyone has the same knowledge.

"It's inspiring a culture surrounding obstetrics and talks about getting rid of the hierarchy in medicine," said Lisa Burns, a nurse at the Inuvik Regional Hospital and co-chair of the MORE Ob team. "It inspires patient safety because one, we all have good baseline knowledge and two, through the program we're able to develop policies and procedures."

This third stage will focus on putting the first two stages into practice. The program is based on research and evidence-based data from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and brings nurses and doctors together to work on challenges in the obstetrics unit. More than 150 hospitals across Canada participate in the program.

Having all those team members work together is crucial for pregnant women to feel comfortable during their births.

"In the OR (operating room), there were five doctors and three nurses," said Danielle Nason, who gave birth to both her children in the Inuvik hospital, including her now eight-month-old daughter. "It was wonderful. Everything is calm, good care. They're always available for any questions, which is great; especially the first time when you have a lot of questions. It was a very supportive environment."

Inuvik started the program in January 2010 and requires the hospital team to meet every two weeks for workshops and education sessions, hands-on scenarios and seminars. Over the past two years the biggest change in how the obstetrics unit works has been improving communication.

"Now we use different tools, like chat tools. We give doctors background information and a quick summary of what's going on," Burns said. "We're not afraid to talk to doctors, where there's always been a hierarchy in the past. We're using it in the rest of the hospital, too."

After each delivery the team will do a debrief with the parents to tell them what they did and why, even if it was a safe birth. They've also started doing patient satisfaction surveys and created a set of guidelines and procedures.

In this final module the hospital will continue to work on creating a culture of safety, teamwork and preparing for emergencies through workshops.

Inuvik has an average of 125 to 130 births per year, serving parents from across the Beaufort Delta region.

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