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Perinatal Collaborative Stories


Franklin Square Hospital Center

While, like most hospitals, Franklin Square Hospital Center’s concern for and focus on patient safety predates the Maryland Patient Safety Center’s Perinatal Collaborative, hospital leaders believed strongly in the concept of networking and sharing best practices with other hospitals. In many ways, it was a natural extension of their internal teamwork approach – and a great opportunity to stretch that concept beyond the walls of their own institution.

The hospital’s first goal as a participant in the Collaborative was to improve communication through the implementation of “huddles,” now called “patient safety rounds.”  Under its new scenario, caregivers have committed to meet four times a day (10 a.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m., and 3 a.m.), in addition to between-shift “hand-off” meetings that have been in place for years.

This extra face time allows for open communication among the entire health care team, rather than being confined to doctor-to-doctor or primary nurse-to-doctor interactions. The strength of this approach is that every member of the health care team knows the plan for every single patient.

“There is a lot to be gained by this synergy – the patient is now everyone’s responsibility,” said James Chisum, M.D., Director of OB Operations.  “In addition, a very positive by-product of these efforts has been a marked improvement in staff satisfaction in our department. The inclusiveness of this [huddle] approach is definitely a win-win for all involved. Everyone’s input is heard and valued and reminds us that we are in this together, working for the patient.”

“The huddles were a first step towards improving communication and now we are focusing on simulation training, multi-disciplinary education, and the use of communications techniques, such as of SBAR, to ensure that we are all communicating in the same way” said Jennifer Smith, RNC, BSN, Patient Care Manager - Labor and Delivery. “It’s all about team work and communication.”