Why Participate in the Online EASE Project?
- Be part of a national project addressing infant mortality for birthing and children’s hospitals
- Learn how to utilize Quality Improvement Principles to change behaviors at your institution
- Improve safe sleep modeling in the hospital with an established tool and data collection system
- Expand your QI Portfolio and receive free assistance collecting and analyzing data
…If you are ready to learn how you can sleep safely with EASE, then explore this page to learn more!
Thank you for your interest in the Education and Sleep Environment (EASE) Project for hospitals. Experts at the Ohio AAP designed the EASE Project in response to Ohio’s dismal infant mortality rate, with a specific emphasis on increasing safe sleep behavior modeling in hospitals. After two successful waves operated as Learning Collaboratives, we are now offering rolling registration in an online version of the project. Please read on to learn more and determine if the EASE Project is the answer for improving safe sleep in your hospital, and therefore reducing infant mortality in your community!
When Sleeping Isn’t Safe: Working to Create Correct Sleeping Environments for Hospitalized Infants
Parents who see their baby supine in the nursery are nearly twice as likely to continue the practice at home – what you do in the hospital has an impact on how infants will sleep at home!
- The United States has a higher infant mortality rate than any of the other 27 wealthy countries. Sleep-related deaths still account for more infant deaths than any other cause except prematurity. To combat recent plateaus in the decrease of sleep-related infant deaths, in 2011, the AAP Task Force on SIDS expanded its focus towards creating a safe sleep environment for infants. However, observations have found that in some hospitals only 25% of infants are placed in a safe sleep environment. Hospitals are often failing to model new recommendations, including promoting:
- Back to Sleep, Every Time
- Infants less than one year should always be placed to sleep in supine position; physicians should be educated on which conditions may medically indicate alternate positioning
- Correct Sleep Environment
- A crib or pack-n-play with a firm, fitted mattress with a fitted crib sheet is the appropriate environment; car seats and sitting devices are not recommended for infant sleeping
- Room Sharing, Not Bed Sharing
- Sleeping in the same room (but not on the same surface) decreases the risk of SIDS by 50%; a shared sleep surface increases the risk of sleep-related deaths
- Everything Out of the Crib
- Infant sleep environments should be empty – the presence of blankets, pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals or toys increases the risk of sleep-related deaths
- While infants are not experiencing sleep-related deaths in a hospital setting, what parents see there can have a great influence on what they do at home. Parents who see their baby supine in the nursery are nearly twice as likely to continue the practice at home. Despite this, research continues to show that more than half of healthcare providers are not following published Safe Sleep guidelines. The Ohio AAP created the EASE Project in 2013 to address this problem. In 2 years the project has operated two waves in 12 hospitals, showing improvements in birthing and children’s hospitals, including:
- 45% increase in patients less than 1 year of age in safe sleep environments (alone, on their back, in a bare crib) during random audits
- Nearly 30% increase in caregiver reports of receiving safe sleep education during hospital stays
- 27% decrease in the presence of loose blankets in patient cribs during observations
- Over 5,000 audits collected statewide in a first of its kind collaboration between Ohio children’s hospitals
- Approval or beginning process of updates to hospital safe sleep policy to meet AAP recommendations by all participating children’s hospitals
- Learn more about the requirements for participating hospitals by clicking here. In general, participating hospitals are required to:
- Form a multi-disciplinary Core Team, consisting of at least three members; team members may include physician leaders, members of hospital leadership, and nursing administrators and/or Quality Improvement staff
- Commit to participate for a total of 10 months
- Collect and submit data for at least 160 patient audits – at least 40 random audits of inpatient infants during each collection period
- Conduct and submit 3 Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycles and worksheets
- Perform interventions to improve the sleeping environments of patients in the hospital setting (such as replacing blankets with sleep sacks and educating staff)
- The Ohio AAP will support data collection and analysis for all teams at no cost
- Resources to assist participant hospitals in making improvements will also be provided