Hospitals can specify focus for OB safety

When the OB safety initiative sponsored by BETA Healthcare Group (BETA) started two years ago, it addressed the most important issues indicated by the company's OB claims, says Heather Gocke, RNC-OB, LNC, CPHRM, C-EFM, director of risk management and quality assessment at BETA's Glendale, CA, office. Those were interpreting fetal heart monitors, using common terminology, and using a team approach for reviewing fetal strips.

For 2011, BETA expanded the program by incorporating a tiered system for achieving the rate credit. Participants can select specific quality improvement goals to target over the next three years rather than all hospitals addressing everything at once, Gocke explains.

All participants must improve education for staff and use a standardized terminology in OB care before they can receive credit for any of the other 10 improvements that they can choose from, she says. "We feel strongly that those are so important to improving OB care that you must achieve those goals first," Gocke says.

The OB education and training is necessary because there is such variation in the way physicians and nurses are trained initially, Gocke says. Anne Herlik, RN, JD, CPHRM, vice president of risk magenemtn for BETA, says that the BETA program requires each individual involved in the hospital's OB program — nurses, physicians, and residents — to complete all the modules for the hospital to receive credit. The educational component is not merely a class that participants can attend and then the hospital receives credit for completion, she says. "The modules are very interactive and adaptive, building on any areas of weakness indicated by the way the participant answers the questions. The module will keep building on that area until the user shows competency," Herlik says. "After they complete the module, they continue learning by receiving a case study on that topic in their inbox each month."


• Heather Gocke, RNC-OB, LNC, CPHRM, C-EFM, Director, Risk Management/Quality Assessment, BETA Healthcare Group, Glendale, CA. Telephone: (818) 242-0123. E-mail: