1. Simpson, Kathleen Rice PhD, RN, FAAN

Article Content

We all want to provide quality care to every woman, mother, and baby in every interaction every day in every clinical setting. We want that care to be timely, efficient, and ultrasafe. We want women and their families to be fully informed of their options, the potential risks and benefits of various procedures, and courses of care, and to actively participate in healthcare decision making. We want our care to be individualized, specific for each patient and family, and appropriate based on their culture and ethnicity. We want to avoid preventable patient harm. So how do we make these things happen on a consistent basis? We are all so busy and most of us face ongoing challenges with financial constraints. Sometimes it can seem like safety and quality care initiatives are just too time and resource consuming to be able to develop and implement as part of our daily routine, but we must, in order to provide every patient with the best care possible.


Change in the form of better care does not happen spontaneously or without significant efforts. When quality improvement projects and/or safety initiatives are suggested, volunteer to take the lead or actively participate. Encourage others on your team to do the same. When some team members cling to the status quo in the face of evidence to the contrary, speak up and step forward to support those who are trying to make things better. Make the time and provide the personal effort required to become involved. The articles in this special issue of MCN are excellent examples of colleagues who have done just that. They saw a problem that needed solving or an opportunity to make an important difference and they took the initiative to do something about it. You can do this too. You don't need to be a director, manager, clinical nurse specialist or have an advanced degree to identify an issue that could benefit from improvement and work with the team to develop strategies for implementation. Anyone with a good idea and the will to make it happen by engaging fellow team members is capable of being a successful quality improvement agent. Think of at least one area of practice on your unit or clinical setting that could be better and then work with your colleagues to develop a plan to make it happen. Design a method to measure your success and partner with an expert in statistics to be able to show your results. Keep a journal of the experience. Consider sharing the results with others via publication like the authors of the articles in this special issue. It is not always easy and it takes a lot of courage and determination, but success and better care for mothers and babies is really worth the effort. I hope you are inspired by reading the articles in this issue and believe that you and your team are capable of similar success. I challenge all of you to take the initiative in making care better in your practice setting by leading a quality improvement project.