Aim: The Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) programme is known to decrease neonatal mortality in low-resource settings but gaps in care still exist. This study describes the use of quality improvement to sustain gains in birth asphyxia-related mortality after HBB.
Methods: Tenwek Hospital, a rural referral hospital in Kenya, identified high rates of birth asphyxia (BA). They developed a goal to decrease the suspected hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (SHIE) rate by 50% within six months after HBB. Rapid cycles of change were used to test interventions including training, retention and engagement for staff/trainees and improved data collection. Run charts followed the rate over time, and chi-square analysis was used.
Results: Ninety-six providers received HBB from September to November 2014. Over 4000 delivery records were reviewed. Ten months of baseline data showed a median SHIE rate of 14.7/1000 live births (LB) with wide variability. Ten months post-HBB, the SHIE rate decreased by 53% to 7.1/1000 LB (p = 0.01). SHIE rates increased after initial decline; investigation determined that half the trained midwives had been transferred. Presenting data to administration resulted in staff retention. Rates have after remained above goal with narrowing control limits.
Conclusion: Focused quality improvement can sustain and advance gains in neonatal outcomes post-HBB training.
Keywords: Hospital practices; Neonatal resuscitation; Quality improvement; Simulation; Sub-Saharan Africa.
©2017 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.