Date of Graduation

Spring 5-22-2015

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


The medical center has lacked the bed capacity and nursing staff to accommodate the needs of maternity patients. Patients are redirected to other network and non-network medical centers due to lack of bed availability, inadequate nurse staffing, and poorly managed patient movement. This project aims to improve patient management in the perinatal departments, including the discharge process. We will have 100% staff participation to facilitate bed management. The patient management project was conducted in a 200-bed hospital serving the residents of an urban area. The perinatal areas of labor & delivery (L&D), antepartum, and postpartum (OB) are highly productive units that average 8-10 births each day and subsequently, 7-8 discharges. Solutions to patient management in the perinatal department are improved communication of bed status, additional bed capacity, and nurse recruitment. During 2014, postpartum patients were temporarily transferred to the pediatric unit, offering an additional 4 maternity beds. In late 2015, an additional hospital floor with 9 postpartum beds will open. The nursing shortage was resolved with 3 phases of hiring and perinatal nurse training in 2014. Accurate communication of bed status has been maintained through weekly and twice daily meetings with the department management teams. Nurse vacancies were completely filled and new hires successfully completed training in all patient care areas of the perinatal department. In addition, another cohort of nurses were trained to perform infant hearing screen tests. New, improved hearing screen equipment was approved for purchase and the birth certificate process was revised. Birth certificate completion is now initiated upon admission. The activity theory was the theoretical framework for this project. There are several organized teams within the medical center that have been working on the global aim of patient management.