The aim of this quality improvement (QI) project was to increase deferred cord clamping (DCC) rates in preterm infants (≤36 + 6 weeks) to 50% of eligible infants over an 18-month period.
The multidisciplinary neonatal quality improvement team collaboratively developed a driver diagram to address the key issues and tasks to launching DCC. Serial plan-do-study-act cycles were used to implement successive changes and integrate DCC as normal practice. Statistical process control charts were used to track and share project progress.
This QI project has increased rates of deferred cord clamping for preterm infants from zero to 45%. Our DCC rates have sequentially increased with each plan-do-study-act cycle and have shown sustained increases without significant compromise in other aspects of neonatal care, such as thermoregulation.
DCC is a core element of good quality perinatal care. This QI project encountered several limiting factors to progress, including resistance to change from clinical staff and the impact on staffing and education secondary to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Our QI team used a range of approaches, such as virtual education strategies and narrative storytelling to overcome these obstacles to QI progress.