The Connecticut Hospital Association and the Connecticut Perinatal Quality Collaborative have formed a partnership to improve the health and quality of care for mothers and infants — which area hospitals say will result in great strides forward for patients and medical practitioners alike.
“When health care providers meet collaboratively, it fosters the transference of expertise and knowledge to the larger group of providers working together to implement the goals of the initiative,” said Jill Immermann, nurse manager of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit & Pediatrics at Norwalk Hospital. “We gather data based on the initiative we are working on and the results are used to measure the level of success.”
Jeffrey L. Bartlett, director of neonatology at Danbury and Norwalk hospitals, noted that the partnership “is not something new to perinatal providers in Connecticut. As providers of newborn care, we have worked in collaboration with CPQC (Connecticut Perinatal Quality Collaborative) for the past few years to address a number of important topics that have become a focus in caring for newborns in Connecticut.” Making the partnership more formal “provides a name to what we have been doing and resources that will be available to providers across the state,” Bartlett added.
The partnership means that Connecticut Perinatal will transform from an independent collaborative to a Connecticut Hospital Association collaborative, said Connecticut Hospital Association CEO Jennifer Jackson. The result, she said, “will enable us to expand our statewide focus on this important work and will bring new opportunities for joint education, research and clinical collaboration.”
The perinatal collaborative includes volunteer physicians, nurses, lactation consultants, additional maternal and infant health care providers and state agency and community stakeholders. Jackson said that it promotes high-quality maternal and newborn care across the continuum by facilitating cooperation among hospitals and health care providers, supporting evidence-based newborn care practices, sharing educational and training resources and gathering critical data.
Delivery of care in the relevant units in the Western Connecticut Health Network — which includes Danbury, Norwalk and New Milford hospitals — will continue to improve, Bartlett said.
“Through our discussions and the data that will be collected, we can individualize best practices in perinatal care to our individual institutions,” he said. “It also provides a direct relationship to experts within our state that are at the front molding these guidelines for best practices.”
Another key component of the partnership will be building upon the collaborative’s work in addressing perinatal health and opioid addiction. “These are areas of care that we are actively discussing within our hospitals already,” Bartlett said. “By focusing on these topics at a community and regional level, it allows us to share ideas, models of care and problems in current models that other hospitals may already be experiencing and work together to provide the best models of care at our institutions.”
“By bringing us together in this collaboration,” Bartlett added, “I hope it will help us to attract national leaders and experts in these areas of medicine to help us continue to improve our care.”
Hospital officials said that patients won’t necessarily be aware of the benefits of the collaboration.
“I don’t know that patients will detect any difference,” Bartlett said. “We will continue to provide excellent, evidence-based care to each of the newborns we care for. In time, we hope that the evidence we collect and changes we adopt will measurably improve outcomes, such as reducing length of stay and delivery-related complications.”
Immermann at Norwalk Hospital agreed. “While patients and families may not notice a difference in the care they receive, they will be getting quality care based on the most up-to-date standards,” she said.