QI Story: Breaking Barriers To Ensure Newborn Health

The Quality Care Network For Improving Maternal, Newborn And Child Health

Presented by: Vincent Samuel, Nurse Midwife Technician

In an exemplary effort to elevate maternal and newborn health, the maternity department at Machinjiri Health Centre identified a critical issue—a lack of initial examination for newborns at the facility. This challenge was first identified in July 2023 through an extensive data review analysis, with the baseline showing a startling 0% compliance rate. This dire situation was in stark contrast to the established standard, which dictates that all newborns must undergo an initial examination before being discharged from the labour ward. Vincent Samuel, a nurse midwife technician admits, “We noted that we do not do an initial examination of newborn babies soon after delivery. In order to avoid complications, we came up with this project to assess the babies after birth.”

Aiming for Remarkable Improvement

Unwilling to accept the status quo, the maternity department at Machinjiri Health Centre set an ambitious target: to increase the percentage of newborns receiving this initial examination from 0% to an impressive 75%. The department embarked on this transformative journey in August 2023, with the determination to accomplish the goal by October 2023. The core of this endeavour involved implementing vital change ideas.

Change Ideas that Fuel Transformation

Machinjiri Health Centre recognized that to realize this ambitious goal, significant changes were essential. Several key strategies were put into action:

  • Education and Capacity Building: The department assigned an officer the crucial task of conducting continuous professional development (CPD) sessions for fellow nurses. These sessions focused on the importance of the initial examination for newborns and the skills required to perform it effectively.
  • Introducing Specialized Tools: The introduction of an initial examination tool became a pivotal step in enhancing the examination process. This tool, tailor-made for the task, enabled healthcare providers to conduct thorough assessments efficiently.
  • Focal Person for Accountability: To ensure accountability and track progress, a focal person was designated to assess partograph records. They scrutinized the data to confirm whether newborns received the vital initial examination.

A Journey to Improve Newborn Health

Machinjiri Health Centre’s maternity department embarked on this path to transform newborn healthcare. The commitment to reaching a 75% compliance rate for newborn examinations underscores the department’s dedication to maternal and newborn well-being.

The initial stages of this project reflect the centre’s unwavering commitment to quality healthcare. As the journey unfolds, the department anticipates learning valuable lessons and building on these experiences to continually enhance newborn care.

The effort to ensure that all newborns receive the essential initial examination is not just an organizational goal but a testament to the healthcare professionals’ dedication to providing the best possible care. It’s a commitment to the health and well-being of the next generation—a commitment that holds tremendous promise for better maternal and newborn outcomes.

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The Quality Care Network For Improving Maternal, Newborn And Child Health DOWNLOAD

This is part of the storytelling contest submission for World Patient Safety Month. Read more here.

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