I was told once that I am especially sensitive to anniversary dates. I think that's true.
Remembering my Dad on his birthday -
When I was growing up, my dad and I were always awake long before anyone else in the house and would use that time to have a good discussion. For years after starting my career, I began most days with a call to my father during my morning commute. I knew I could count on him for a good chat during the drive in. My dad was the chief engineer in charge of the water department. Though we were in very different lines of business, his goal was safety, quality and the continuous flow of a perfect product, ensuring its delivery to the customer every time it was wanted. Does this sound familiar? He instilled in me a strong sense of duty and pride in civil service. As my career evolved, the differences in our work became far fewer than the similarities. My dad seemed to have a story for every challenge I faced. This real life reflection from a veteran leader was a valuable part of our morning discussions. He would never give any direct advice. More often than not, he would share what he described as a failed or wrong decision. I, on the other hand, would describe it as wisdom.
I still catch myself making a list in my head of things I'd love to run past him during one of our discussions. Over the next few days (or weeks, depending on the pace of my posts), I'd like to share some of my thoughts during my "morning commute" with you.
I begin with how proud I was to see Contra Costa Regional Medical Center receive the Quality Leaders Top Honors Award from the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) and its quality improvement affiliate, the California Health Care Safety Net Institute (SNI) for our Perinatal Unit’s innovative program, the “Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC) Improvement Project.” Judy Bliss, MD, chair of our ob/gyn department, and Brenda Stewart, RN, quality manager for Safety and Performance Improvement, accepted the award on behalf of the CCRMC team at the CAPH/SNI annual awards luncheon earlier this month.
The team developed this program more than two years ago to offer women who have had a prior C-section the option to avoid this surgery if it can be done safely. Although medical science supports VBACs and indeed acknowledges that in general C-sections carry a greater risk, some providers are reluctant to offer VBACs because of the challenges involved in assuring all safety measures have been taken. In collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, we developed a series of interventions, known as a “bundle,” and other protocols so that we could ensure the safest outcome possible to our patients who chose a VBAC.
These efforts are an example of CCRMC employees putting patients at the center of their care experience. Our perinatal team was determined to respond to the needs and wishes of our patients while keeping safety as the number-one priority .