Dr. Susan Kearing Featured Partnership Panelist
Discussed reducing the rate of elective preterm deliveries
June 14, 2011
Dr. Susan Kearing
On June 13, federal health officials were in Brewer to announce a new partnership titled the “Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs,” which seeks voluntary participation of health care providers to support efforts to keep patients safe, improve care, and reduce costs.
In attendance was Rebecca Ryder, president of Franklin Memorial Hospital, who supports the partnership and signed the pledge. The Department of Health and Human Services will provide up to $1 billion over the next 10 years to help these participants develop effective strategies to improve care and lower costs.
Dr. Susan Kearing, a member of the Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) medical staff, was among four featured speakers who shared information about initiatives and practices that can improve health care and protect patient safety.
Dr. Kearing spoke on how FMH has used the zero defects methodology to prevent elective early term birth. The practice of elective deliveries of babies under 39 weeks of gestation has become accepted—at times for the convenience of doctors or patients—but studies show it is associated with high rates of newborn respiratory problems and other complications. “By presenting scientific data and educating doctors and patients, our hospital has significantly reduced the rate of preterm deliveries,” she said.
According to national statistics, one of every three patients admitted to a hospital suffers from a medical error or other accident during that hospitalization. On any given day, one in 20 patients develops an infection related to hospital care.
“Many health care organizations are already engaged in efforts to improve quality and reduce costs, but are not sharing their resources or findings,” said Christie Hager, regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Boston. “This new partnership is intended to promote sharing and to increase transparency and accountability in the health care system.”
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