Sudden unexpected infant death often results from unsafe sleep environments and is the leading cause of postneonatal mortality in the United States. Standardization of infant sleep environment education has been revealed to impact such deaths. This standardized approach is similar to safety prevention bundles typically used to monitor and improve health outcomes, such as those related to hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). We sought to use the HAC model to measure and improve adherence to safe sleep guidelines in an entire children’s hospital.
A hospital-wide safe sleep bundle was implemented on September 15, 2017. A safe sleep performance improvement team met monthly to review data and discuss ideas for improvement through the use of iterative plan-do-study-act cycles. Audits were performed monthly from March 2017 to October 2019 and monitored safe sleep parameters. Adherence was measured and reviewed through the use of statistical process control charts (p-charts).
Overall compliance improved from 9% to 72%. Head of bed flat increased from 62% to 93%, sleep space free of extra items increased from 52% to 81%, and caregiver education completed increased from 10% to 84%. The centerline for infant in supine position remained stable at 81%.
Using an HAC bundle safety prevention model to improve adherence to infant safe sleep guidelines is a feasible and effective method to improve the sleep environment for infants in all areas of a children’s hospital.