November 14, 2019

Collaborating on Safer Care at Northern

Yvonne Chan, Nurse Unit Manager Maternity, and Abby Monaghan, Quality Coordinator Women’s and Children’s, attended a three-day Safer Care Victoria workshop, as part of a wider collaborative between Victorian hospitals and Safer Care Victoria.

Yvonne is part of the ‘Better Births’ project, a Safer Care Victoria initiative that aims to reduce third and fourth degree tear rates in women who give birth.

“The goal is to reduce the tear rate by 50 per cent and our hospital works in collaboration with other organisations on this project. There is a number of strategies which we are working on, and they include things like using warm compresses during labour and birth, and making sure we are using a hands-on technique and that we have a consistent practice, as well as involving the women in this journey and providing education for staff,” Yvonne explained.

The project started in August this year and will last for a full year. During three learning sessions, all organisations involved come together, discuss progress and get tips from Safer Care Victoria on how to overcome roadblocks.

“It’s a good day to think outside of the box and brainstorm ideas with other organisations. These workshops give more information on how to implement bundles of care and how to collect the data – as we need the data to know how we are doing and how to get the staff engaged,” Yvonne said.

Abby is part of the ‘Safer Baby’ collaborative which aims to reduce the number of still born babies by 30 per cent after 28 weeks, by 2020.

“With this project, we are working on implementing different strategies to minimise risk – they include helping women quit smoking, detecting fetal growth restriction or small babies, advertising sleeping on the side in the third trimester and reporting decreased fetal movements and coming into hospital to be assessed,” Abby explained.

Through the collaboration with 30 hospitals, the initiative aims to establish similar processes of care across Victoria.

“No matter where you go for your care, you get consistent and effective care that is based on best practice. We are trying to get every woman empowered to be able to reduce the risk of still birth, and consistently have education and support from the hospital. That is part of our High Reliability – Trusted Care transformation,” Abby said.

Both Yvonne and Abby agree these workshops are an opportunity for all hospitals to come together and compare how the projects look in each place and how they’ve been getting the word out to women. Plans for the future include working on strategies to make these projects sustainable and share improvements, resources and ideas.

Featured image (left to right): Northern Health representatives at the workshop – Katie Castles, Yvonne Chan, Abby Monaghan and Debra Bourne.