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Teams land perinatal care quality awards

Apr. 25, 2019, 9:02 AM


by Christina Echegaray

Three teams across Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt recently earned top-status Gold Level Quality awards from the Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC).

TIPQC is a statewide consortium of NICU staff, obstetric and pediatric specialists who build programs to reduce infant mortality and improve neonatal health care. TIPQC members work together on projects to determine, through evidence-based medicine, how to help Tennessee babies be born healthy and stay that way.

The three teams honored include Obstetrics, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Newborn Nursery. They were recognized for three projects: Long-acting reversible birth control; optimizing care for the late preterm infant; and Tennessee antibiotic stewardship projects.

The awards were given in March during a statewide gathering of more than 300 physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, insurance companies, families, legislators and community groups.

“Quality Improvement work is so important to improving the health of mothers and babies in Tennessee. But it is hard work. It requires teams to look at their own outcomes data, and then figure out how to improve within their own environment,” said Susan Guttentag, MD, director of the Mildred Stahlman Division of Neonatology for Children’s Hospital and Julia Carell Stadler Professor of Pediatrics.

Guttentag is the principal investigator on the Tennessee Department of Health grant that supports TIPQC. In this role, she has oversight of the TIPQC organizational structure and is responsible for communicating the value of TIPQC projects to all stakeholders.

“We are so very proud of the effort that these teams go through to do this work. We realized that it wasn’t enough for TIPQC to just be there to provide tool kits and remind them to enter data. We needed to celebrate their success,” Guttentag said.

Teams that received awards are honored at the TIPQC annual meeting, and they also get a banner to hang in their hospital.

TIPQC has been working since 2008 to identify opportunities to optimize birth outcomes and implement data-driven provider- and community-based performance improvement initiatives. Vanderbilt has been a part of numerous projects, including the ones recently recognized as well as an initiative to increase exclusive breastfeeding at hospitals and birthing centers.


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