Masters Thesis

A program evaluation of early elective deliveries

Ensuring the adequate care and treatment of mothers and their newborns has been a nationwide goal for the better part of the last five years. Specifically the reduction in early elective deliveries throughout the U.S. and Dignity Health’s current system of care for pregnant women and newborns provides many valuable services, but improvements are still needed to fulfill the full range of needs faced by patients subject to early delivery. One Kern County Hospital is an organization seeking to meet these needs, providing evidence based care and support to this vulnerable population. In Kern County, the Hospital provides services to approximately 3,000 mothers and newborns each year with the goal of ensuring that pregnant women receive the best care possible to promote quality of life and safety. The goal of this research was to determine whether the Kern County Hospital is meeting their goal by performing a program evaluation, and to provide recommendations for improving services to better meet the needs of the of the program and overall patient population. A needs assessment posing questions specific to the early elective delivery program was addressed and analyzed with the goal of identifying key areas in need of improvement. From the study it was identified that some of the major areas in need of improvement had to do with the lack of policy and procedure necessary to promote evidence based practices, minimal education programs and/or training for staff and patients, in addition to limited support from administration. Based on the results, it is recommended that the Hospital improve education programs by incorporating competency training and simulation drills, adopt an early elective delivery program specific policy to better adhere to evidence based practices, implement improved marketing strategies to better inform the community, and create a culture of safety by implementing key strategic management processes.

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