IMPROVE Workshop

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About the IMPROVE workshop

Death of a baby is a devastating event for both the families and the professionals looking after them. In order to try to answer the questions raised by such deaths, a structured approach is required. Prior to attending an IMPROVE workshop, many health care professionals report feeling ill equipped to handling these issues and the workshop aims to provide tools to help the family and the healthcare facility at this time.

Providing education for health care professionals on how to use the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand’s (PSANZ) Clinical Practice Guideline for Perinatal Mortality is crucial to ensuring mothers and families receive the best care in the hospital setting. The Australian and New Zealand Stillbirth Alliance (ANZSA) in collaboration with the PSANZ Perinatal Mortality Group developed an educational program for maternity health care professionals: IMproving Perinatal and Review and Outcomes Via Education (IMPROVE). The IMPROVE workshop utilises the Structured, Clinical, Objective, Referenced, Problem-orientated, Integrated and Organised (SCORPIO) educational model designed for skills training. This involves small groups of learners rotating around six interactive learning stations that are each facilitated by an experienced educator. The principle of incorporating best evidence content and using best evidence teaching methods is fundamental to the course design. IMPROVE involves: 1) a short introductory lecture; 2) six learning stations; and, 3) formative assessment. Workshops are four hours in duration and are delivered by trained educators.

The learning stations are:

1) Communicating with families regarding autopsy
2) Autopsy and placental examination
3) Investigation of fetal death
4) Examination of babies who die in the perinatal period
5) Institutional perinatal mortality audit and classification
6) Psychological and social aspects of perinatal bereavement

Who should attend?

The workshops are designed for health care professionals including obstetricians, midwives, neonatal nurses, neonatologists, pathologists, bereavement specialists, social workers, or those interested from a policy or public health perspective. IMPROVE workshops provide an opportunity for participants to understand the PSANZ Perinatal Mortality Guidelines in an interactive way.

IMPROVE program materials

Electronic program materials are provided to each participant covering key aspects of the PSANZ Guidelines and other relevant documentation specific to that region. A certificate of completion is provided at the end of the IMPROVE program. This activity is endorsed with 4 MidPlus points from the Australian College of Midwives. Eligible fellows of RANZCOG can claim 5 CPD points in the Meeting Attendance/Clinical Expertise Category.

IMPROVE is a national program

To date IMPROVE has trained over 1,200 health care professionals across Australia and New Zealand and is coordinated through the PSANZ-SANDA (PSANZ Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Alliance) Coordinating Centre. A central register of all workshops held, IMPROVE participants, and IMPROVE pre- and post-workshop evaluations are maintained at the PSANZ-SANDA Coordinating Centre. The content of the IMPROVE Program is modified slightly for each region to ensure that the information provided is consistent with local processes. These modifications, which are largely to incorporate local forms and contact persons, will be made in consultation with the IMPROVE regional coordinator and approved by PSANZ-SANDA’s IMPROVE Steering Committee. PSANZ-SANDA oversees the revisions to the IMPROVE Program and associated materials consulting the relevant Regional Coordinators to ensure the program continues to meets local needs.

Becoming an IMPROVE educator

Educators, with a strong background in education in the perinatal area, are eligible to become trainers according to the training procedure which extends over two IMPROVE workshops. Those interested in becoming IMPROVE trainers should provide a CV to the IMPROVE Coordinator and specify in which Station of IMPROVE they are interested in training. CVs will be reviewed by two members of the IMPROVE Steering Committee. The relevant Committee member will then contact you to run through the Teaching Plan for your station.

1. Applicant should be an experienced educator with a strong background in perinatal education.
2. The applicant must have attended the IMPROVE Program as a participant
3. Applicant CV reviewed by a member(s) of the IMPROVE Steering Committee and contact is made to discuss the Teaching Plan/Content.
4. The applicant then attends the next IMPROVE program as a trainee educator for their station of choice with an IMPROVE educator as a buddy
5. At the IMPROVE educator training session the trainee will:

a. Observe the IMPROVE educator for 2 sessions
b. Deliver the next two sessions observed by the IMPROVE educator
c. Receive constructive feedback from the IMPROVE educator.
d. Deliver the final sessions observed by the IMPROVE educator
e. Receive final feedback and have the opportunity to ask further questions of the IMPROVE educator

Please contact, if you are interested in becoming an educator at the next workshop.