Safety Learning Lab for Neonatal and Maternal Care

Project Summary

While maternal admission for newborn birth is the most common reason for hospital admission, labor and delivery still comes with substantial risk to both mother and baby. In fact, the U.S. infant mortality rate is three times greater than that of other developed countries, and the U.S. maternal mortality ratio has increased in recent years.

The Safety Learning Laboratory for Neonatal and Maternal Care (SLLNMC) conducts research to improve the safety and quality of care provided to mothers and babies during labor and delivery.


Our Aims:

1. Study how the flow of communication impacts patient safety

In our context, the flow of communication usually refers to information being given and received by clinicians to others, primarily to other clinicians. However, we have a broader view of communication that includes the exchange of information between clinicians and patients, data display / monitoring devices, a paper or electronic medical record system, and also the family.


2. Study how physical design elements impacts patient safety

This may include elements of design of physical devices, to organization of patient beds and storage spaces, to layout of a patient room. We will consider both the micro- and macrocomponents of design as we consider how the physical environment can be adjusted to improve safety.


3. Develop a systematic approach to studying patient safety

As a lab focused utilizing user-centered design, we aim to employ a stepwise approach of problem analysis through qualitative research, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.