Advocate BroMenn Medical Center
Advocate BroMenn Medical Center has served the people of Central Illinois for nearly 120 years. Recognized as a national leader in patient safety, the medical center is Magnet-designated and distinguished for its commitment to comprehensive patient care, with an emphasis on cardiac and neurological care. BroMenn Medical Center is one of three hospitals in the U.S. awarded the DNV Managing Infection Risk designation.
As good as gold
Pregnant women and their babies can face a grave danger from a condition that in most cases is easily treated—if detected early. Thus, began a statewide initiative to identify maternal hypertension and treat it.
When maternal hypertension is not identified before it progresses, it can leader to more serious conditions, including pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, which can lead to seizures and death.
Leading the charge is the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative, one of 13 state-based organizations across the country funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The collaborative works with 110 hospitals across Illinois to support techniques to, as the organization says, “make Illinois a better place to be born.”
The collaborative was hoping to dramatically increase the percentage of women identified and treated within 60 minutes of hypertension detection. Advocate BroMenn Medical Center joined the efforts and greatly improved maternal hypertensive care for their patients. The state baseline was 42 percent in 2015, and 84 percent in 2017. BroMenn Medical Center exceeded that, achieving 100 percent by November and December of 2017, starting from its baseline of 33 percent when data-gathering began in January of 2016.
That success rate was pure gold to the collaborative, which awarded BroMenn Medical Center its Gold Quality Award.
One of those on the team that led the improvement efforts was Mother Baby Unit nurse Jessica Baker, BSN, RNC-OB. She educated doctors and nurses about the “red zone”—sustained blood pressures of 160/105 in pregnant women. Those are troubling readings for anyone, but for pregnant women, they should set off alarm bells and require prompt treatment.
“Basically, the State of Illinois is saying that if you have two sustained high blood pressure readings 15 minutes apart, the goal is to treat that mom with an anti-hypertensive medication within an hour of the second reading,” Baker said. “Initially, 67 percent of the time, we either weren’t treating them at all, or we were treating them farther out than an hour.”
BroMenn Medical Center assembled its team to identify the problem and fix it. One issue they found was that all nurses were not taking blood pressure readings the same way. That has since been standardized. Education became essential for everybody from doctors to patients, who now are given information explaining symptoms and what to do about them.
“If we have a fallout, we huddle with that nurse afterward and ask, ‘What kept us from treating the patient within an hour?’” Baker said.
Baker knows sustaining excellence will require vigilance by all staff. The medical center has developed a sustainability plan to maintain its new high standard.
It wants to keep that gold award polished.