Use of point of care quality improvement methodology to improve newborn care, immediately after birth, at a tertiary care teaching hospital, in a resource constraint setting

BMJ Open Qual. 2021 Jul;10(Suppl 1):e001445. doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2021-001445.


After birth, separation of mothers and newborn is a common practice in many hospitals in our country. After delivery, we take the normal newborn to the radiant warmer in the resuscitation area for routine care. This was the existing process of care at our hospital. The frontline delivery team undertook quality improvement initiative to understand and document factors creating challenges in delivering evidence-based practice of providing immediate skin-to-skin care (SSC), delayed cord clamp (DCC) and early breast feeding within 1 hour of birth. Some of the barriers identified were early newborn mother separation and late transfer of mother from delivery room to the observation area. Additionally, there was a challenge of high delivery load with variation in understanding and provision of SSC and drying on mother's abdomen. These made sustenance of improved care practices difficult. Using the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) approach some successful change ideas tested were pre-delivery counselling, avoiding separation of mother and newborn at birth by providing SSC and continuing it in the post-delivery observation area and getting family member's help in first breast feed. The delivery team adapted these successful change ideas by multiple iterations, group discussions and feedback. This resulted in improved and sustained compliance of pre-delivery counselling, SSC, DCC and initiating breast feed within 1 hour, from minimal compliance to a median compliance of 51%, 56%, 59% and 61%, respectively, over 36 months period. We undertook this quality improvement initiative at Delhi (India) at a tertiary care teaching hospital. The implementation of WHO recommended evidence-based practices benefitted more than 10 000 mother-newborn dyads annually over 2 years, using Point of Care Quality Improvement method. Implementation of evidence-based practice is possible in challenging situations using PDSA approach. The resultant contextualised processes are convenient and have better success at sustainability.

Keywords: PDSA; compliance; continuous quality improvement; evidence-based practice.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Tertiary Healthcare