To increase the percentage of cases in which quantitative blood loss (QBL) was documented by labor and delivery nurses for women giving birth.
Quality improvement project.
Labor and delivery unit of a community hospital in which a previous implementation of QBL measurement was not sustained.
Labor and delivery nurses were the focus of the intervention, but the entire multidisciplinary team became involved.
Based on literature supporting the use of scorecard feedback to stimulate performance improvement, weekly blinded individual scorecards showing the percentage of births attended by each labor and delivery nurse with QBL documented and a run chart showing the percentage of all births with QBL documented were posted on the unit and discussed during huddles for 12 weeks. Data on blood product administration were collected, and charts comparing QBL and estimated blood loss (EBL) volumes documented were shared with nurses and physicians.
Over 12 weeks, the percentage of births with QBL documented increased from 22.7% to 80.0%. Consistent with previous reports comparing QBL and EBL volumes at birth, there was a significant difference between the mean QBL volume (mean = 482.20 ml, standard deviation = 358.03) and the mean EBL volume (mean = 313.15 ml, standard deviation = 211.91; p < .001) for total births. The mean QBL volume was also greater than the mean EBL volume for vaginal and cesarean births, but those differences were not statistically significant. There was no increase in blood product administration associated with the increase in QBL documentation.
Discussing weekly scorecards and a run chart of QBL measurement was associated with an increase in documentation of QBL by labor and delivery nurses. Planning this project and discussing the results engaged the entire multidisciplinary team in more consistent measurement of QBL. The increased level of QBL documentation has been sustained for longer than 1 year.