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Release Date: 11/06/2014

Staff neonatologist at Women & Infants Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Jesse Bender, MD, has been awarded an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) grant for his work with the TESTPILOT study. In conjunction with Robin Shields, RNC, Karen Kennally, RN, BSN, MaryAnn Garrin, NNP, and Dan Gingras, RT, Dr. Bender has served as the principle investigator for the project since 2009. The $700,000 grant over three years will help determine the best practice for systems testing in new health care environments.

TESTPILOT is an acronym for Transportable Enhanced Simulation Technologies for Pre-Implementation Limited Operations Testing. It is a method for in situ macrosystems testing first organized prior to the opening of Women & Infants single-family room neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The TESTPILOT team took a "neighborhood" of rooms, stocked them with monitors and mannequins then immersed health care teams in the practice routines they knew best. Some processes were entirely new, such as the adaptation to handheld communication devices.

TESTPILOT aimed at providing personnel from all shifts the opportunity to explore the new NICU without exposing patients to risk. "It was such a success that we started applying it to other institutions to help them get through their transitions," said Dr. Bender.

By the third time that Dr. Bender and his colleagues employed TESTPILOT, patterns and variable in the application and success of simulation began to emerge. "Depending on the local safety culture, the magnitude of change, or their previous simulation experience, different latent safety threats were discovered," Dr. Bender explained. Each environment is different, but there may be a blueprint for how to apply this method best for a given type of healthcare environment.

In awarding the grant, AHRQ is hoping that Dr. Bender and his team will be able to formulate a best practice for optimizing patient safety in transitioning health care environments.

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About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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