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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Communication and Leadership Training for Obstetric and Pediatric Providers

Project Director(s):

Rita Dadiz, DO
University of Rochester
Pediatrics/School of Medicine & Dentistry 601 Elmwood Avenue, (Box 651)
Rochester, NY  14642-8651
Phone: (585)275-2972
FAX: (585)461-3614
Email: rita_dadiz@urmc.rochester.edu


Poor communication is a root cause of maternal and newborn adverse outcomes. Simulation-based training and mentorship of MCH professionals in communication, team-building and leadership fill a critical need that allows growth of individuals and programs dedicated to improving patient outcomes.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: To improve communication and leadership skills among obstetric and pediatric providers through the use of simulation-based team training (SBTT) for patient safety during deliveries Objective 1: To increase handoff and vital communication during simulated and actual deliveries by 30% on a validated evaluation tool (i.e. checklist) by year 2013. Objective 2: To increase leadership behaviors of teams during deliveries by increasing the proportion of effective to ineffective behaviors displayed during simulated and actual deliveries by year 2013. Goal 2: To identify, train and mentor MCH professionals to acquire the leadership skills needed to promote patient safety through the use of SBTT and quality improvement strategies. Objective 1: By 2013, to double the core number of perinatal MCH professionals (from 3 to 6) within our institution who use SBTT and debriefing skills to improve interdisciplinary communication and patient outcomes. Objective 2: By 2013, to train and mentor MCH professionals from at least 5 of the 16 community hospitals within the Finger Lakes Region of New York State on debriefing and simulation methodologies to improve communication, teamwork and patient safety in their institutions.


For the proposed interdisciplinary project, we plan to initiate three novel, inter-related training programs to improve healthcare delivery to pregnant women and their infants through improved communication and leadership skills of obstetric and pediatric MCH professionals (doctors and nurses): 1) The In-Situ SBTT Program will train obstetric and pediatric MCH professionals at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) to improve communication and leadership skills during deliveries. 2) The Mentee-Mentor Program will train selected MCH professionals at URMC to become leaders in interdisciplinary team building, SBTT and patient safety initiatives. Mentees will participate in the training of MCH professionals at URMC and community hospitals throughout the region. 3) The Regional Outreach Program will train MCH professionals at community hospitals throughout the region to become leaders at their own institutions in communication and interdisciplinary team building. These programs are unique and innovative through the use of simulation technology to train doctors and nurses in obstetric and pediatric teams. SBTT utilizes well-established educational models of adult and self-reflective learning. Program sustainability is also a large goal. Sustainability will be achieved by training the next generation of leaders who will continue to train MCH professionals throughout the region.


Project faculty are committed to developing and implementing sustainable programs in interdisciplinary and leadership training to ensure continued training of MCH professionals and allow for program growth in the region. Program faculty will partner with the Finger Lakes Regional Perinatal Forum to train MCH professionals from community hospitals in the Upstate New York region to initiate their own programs to improve interdisciplinary communication and leadership skills.


1) Evaluation of the In-Situ SBTT Program will consist of videotaped analysis of delivery room communication and leadership before and after SBTT. 2) The Mentee-Mentor Program will be assessed by the number of MCH professionals trained by mentees and the effectiveness of their training using 360 degree learner evaluations. 3) The Regional Outreach Program will be assessed by the number of MCH professionals trained and the number of hospitals that initiate their own patient safety programs.

Experience to Date:

Our major experiences are detailed below, according to our goals and objectives. 1) Goal 1, Objective 1: The "In Situ SBTT Program" was developed and implemented. The program's focus that year was to improve communication and cultural sensitivity with Spanish-speaking patients and families. Communication during training sessions and actual deliveries were assessed as baseline data for comparison with future years. 2) Goal 1, Objective 2: A tool to assess leadership behaviors was drafted and is under review for editing. 3) Goal 2, Objective 1: The curriculum for the "Mentee-Mentor Program" has been outlined. Potential mentees for the program were identified. 4) Goal 2, Objective 2: The "Regional Outreach Program" was developed and piloted with Highland Hospital, a community hospital. All community hospitals in the region were surveyed to assess their needs and interests in participating in this program. Additional hospitals to potentially participate were identified from survey results.

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