The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Summa is one of 89 hospitals participating in Best Fed Beginnings, a national quality improvement project that helps hospitals improve maternity care and achieve Baby-Friendly status. Using current and emerging technology to inform and encourage new mothers to breastfeed was selected as the QI project. Michele McCarroll, Ph.D., Director of Women's Health Research at Summa, led a partnership with a learning development company, Expand Interactive, out of Akron, to develop a breastfeeding education application (app). This app contains videos, pictures with voiceovers, quizzes and other interactive elements. Topics range from the benefits of breastfeeding to more complex topics that help mothers solve breastfeeding problems.
Summa is currently refining the patient education materials and testing the patient experience by making the app available on iPads and tablets. Once the content is complete, McCarroll says they hope to make it available to all mothers.
The Baby-Friendly designation is granted to facilities that adhere to the evidence-based Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. As researchers within Women’s Health at Summa developed Baby-Friendly patient education they realized they would have to utilize available technology rather than pamphlets that patients rarely read or remember. Partnering with a local company allowed for the development of this multimodal and interactive educational system.
Information on Expand Interactive can be obtained here.