Alamo, California (EastBayDaily) — Hundreds of obstetrical nurses, midwives, residents and doctors completing an intensive continuing education program focused on risk management are helping their respective hospitals lower healthcare professional liability costs via an OB-intensive patient safety program launched by BETA Healthcare Group (BETA), the largest writer of hospital malpractice coverage in California. To date, BETA has enrolled 34 of its 35 eligible hospitals in the program.
“BETA understands that patient safety drives sound risk management, which in turn leads to reduced claims frequency and severity. The program is a win-win for our member hospitals, physicians and medical teams and, most of all, for their patients,” said Annie Herlik, RN, JD, CPHRM, Vice President of Risk Management at BETA.
To assist hospitals in delivering the training to its OB teams, BETA covers 50% of the costs of the perinatal safety training, which includes up to 24 hours of eLearning and training focused on electronic fetal monitoring and analysis, team communications strategies, and emergency management in labor and delivery. The benefits of improved risk management, better patient care and clearer more consistent communications among staff emerge as OB nurses and doctors progress through the program—and continue to grow as teams work together.
“Delivering exceptional care with the highest level of patient safety is the driving goal of hospitals and medical staff leaders. Working together, we can successfully navigate the changing and challenging healthcare landscape and make patient safety and care the top priority,” said Sam Downing, Chair, BETA Healthcare Group.
BETA’s OB risk assessment and training program is available to all of its member hospitals, which includes over 10,000 licensed beds in more than 100 city, county, district and nonprofit hospitals and healthcare facilities in California. The BETA program requires all members of the participating hospital’s perinatal team to meet specific quality of care criteria, including proof of competency in reading and interpreting a fetal heart monitor, utilizing a common language in all communication and multidisciplinary fetal monitor strip reviews. This includes OB physicians, L&D unit nurses, residents and midwives jointly reading and interpreting the monitor strip—a safety training measure that helps build teamwork and stimulates rich discussion while reinforcing a common language for describing fetal heart tracings. When a hospital demonstrates 100% compliance with all elements of the program, a 5% rate credit is provided by BETA to reduce the hospital’s healthcare professional liability coverage costs.
Success on the Frontline California-based hospitals that have achieved success in the BETA program include Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC), Mendocino Coast District Hospital, Natividad Medical Center, Plumas District Hospital, Sierra View District Hospital and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. BETA offers the education and OB Risk assessment programs as part of a comprehensive patient safety initiative to member hospitals. Interested members are encouraged to contact BETA for more details about the program’s focus on risk management and its proactive clinical improvement process to reduce healthcare professional liability coverage costs.
“Through BETA’s intensive training program, individual competency is assessed at every point and the learning experience customized to each participant,” Dr. Peter Chandler MD, MPH, Director, OB/GYN Services at Salinas, California-based Natividad Medical Center. “Participation has been shown to be an important driver of patient safety. The feedback from our clinicians has been overwhelmingly positive—we’re pleased to be a part of the program.”
In Southern California, LVMC and its team of 19 medical professionals recently completed the BETA training and experienced immediate improvements in delivery of care and treatment coordination.
“We view these training programs as a vital step towards continuous assessment and improvement, which in turn helps ensure improved patient care and safety,” said James Raggio, CEO of LVMC.
With 30 years experience as a midwife, LVMC’s Director of Perinatal Services, Lotta Andersson, saw first-hand how the education program raised awareness among all staff members about the different issues driving patient safety and risk. “In emergency situations, we can now discuss the readings from fetal monitor strips by phone with doctors who are not on the hospital floor—and because of the training, we’re all speaking the same language regarding complex technical issues,” noted Andersson. “That’s a tremendous plus for patients, our team and the hospital.”
BETA offers the education and OB Risk assessment programs as part of a comprehensive patient safety initiative to current member hospitals. Prospective members are encouraged to contact BETA for more details about the program’s focus on risk management and its proactive clinical improvement process to reduce healthcare professional liability coverage costs.
About BETA Healthcare Group BETA Healthcare Group (BETA) is the largest writer of hospital professional liability coverage in California, covering approximately 10,000 licensed beds and 3,600 physicians in the state. Founded in 1979 as an alternative to commercial malpractice insurance, BETA now serves more than 100 city, county, district and nonprofit hospitals and healthcare facilities in California. In addition to comprehensive healthcare liability coverage, the organization offers its members directors and officers (D&O), employment practices and automobile liability coverage.
BETA offers liability coverage through the BHG Risk Management Authority and Health Providers Insurance Reciprocal, RRG. The cost-effective structure and dedicated management of these risk financing vehicles have earned BETA a reputation for financial strength, rate stability, service quality, and breadth of coverage that is unparalleled in the industry.