Original Article

CME Article: Peripartum Hypertensive Crisis Simulation and Education Initiative among Rural Emergency Departments

Authors: Julie R. Whittington, MD, USN, Ann Marie Mercier,MD, Abigail M. Ramseyer, DO, Songthip Ounpraseuth, PhD, Everett F. Magann, MD


Objective: To determine whether the introduction of hypertensive bundles through simulation and education would result in the timely assessment and treatment of a simulated patient in a peripartum hypertensive crisis.

Methods: This prospective observational pilot study evaluates the use of simulation and education on hypertension bundled care for peripartum patients in eight rural hospitals. Unannounced simulation exercises were conducted at each hospital. Emergency department staff response was assessed with a checklist. Primary outcomes included time to first antihypertensive medication administered, time to registered nurse assessment, and time to physician assessment. After the initial simulation, nurse educators conducted an in-person didactic on the management of peripartum hypertensive crisis, providing each hospital with materials for local bundle initiation and implementation for hypertensive emergency. The nurse educators conducted the same simulation at the individual sites 3 to 4 months later. Time of intervention improvement pre- and posteducation training scores were analyzed for each of these using a paired t test followed by a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The average time of intervention improvement among delivering hospitals versus nondelivering hospitals was compared.

Results: Eight training simulation and training sessions were conducted at four delivering and four nondelivering hospitals. Seventy-three healthcare workers attended training. The average time decreased from pre- to postsimulation at all of the hospitals (this was not statistically significant, however). The average reduction in time for first nurse assessment was 1.25 ± 10.05 minutes (P = 0.99). The average reduction in time to physician assessment was 4.88 ± 14.74 minutes (P = 0.45). The average reduction of time to administration of first hypertensive medication was 12.0 ± 25.79 minutes (P = 0.15). The average times for nurse or physician assessment and time to first hypertension medication administration were similar between delivering and nondelivering hospitals.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a trend toward improved treatment of a peripartum hypertensive emergency through bundled care and simulation. The training reduced the time to first medication given and improved the selection process for the preferred hypertensive medication. The time from nurse care to physician assessment also was reduced. Education in bundled peripartum hypertension care may improve patient outcomes by decreasing hypertension-related maternal morbidity and mortality.
Posted in: Obstetrics and Gynecology63 Hypertension14

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