At Texas Perinatal Services, we pride ourselves on hiring only Texas-based, Texas-experienced clinicians for our survey teams. In our ongoing series of Conversations with TPS Surveyors, we are pleased to introduce another one of our exceptional maternal surveyors, Gloria Delgado, MSN, RNC-OB.
Gloria brings more than two decades of experience in leading and delivering women’s health care services in Texas. Here are some of her observations about the new survey process and what hospitals can expect.
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How will hospitals, and more importantly their patients, benefit from the new maternal care verification surveys and designation rules?
For most of my career, maternal/child care services were not considered as important as other services. With the new rules, we finally are at the point of being at the front-row in terms of the importance of safety and quality care for maternal patients.
Most people think being pregnant is easy and everything with the delivery will be fine, but that isn’t always the case. Having these levels of care helps the public understand the levels of care and how they help in managing a high-risk pregnancy. By having these designations, for example, the ambulance driver knows the best place to take the patient based on their needs for a safe delivery.
Why did you choose to become a surveyor?
I’ve always been impressed with the knowledge that Joint Commission surveyors had. So, I felt being a maternal surveyor would be a great way for me to learn and be a better patient care provider, so it was selfish in a way. But I also wanted to contribute something for the state.
Here in El Paso, we are far away from the major metro areas and I saw this as an opportunity to collaborate to improve the quality of care for the whole state. I also believe that, because Texas has so many deliveries, just by changing the quality of care here in Texas, we can change national statistics on maternal care and that’s very powerful. It’s empowering to try to help every provider be better, not in a criticizing way but in a collaborative way, so that we can provide better care the next time. I want to be part of this change
Why with TETAF?
To be a TETAF/Texas Perinatal Services surveyor, you first have to be recommended. I was recommended by a colleague, and was thrilled to be selected and to be trained. TETAF has been at the forefront of working to improve care in Texas, from trauma and stroke services, to now perinatal services. They have a strong reputation for doing good surveys, and a long history of doing these kinds of surveys. I wanted to be trained well and I knew that I would get that with TETAF.
What experiences do you bring to your role as a surveyor that you hope will be beneficial to the hospitals and clinical teams you survey?
I’ve been a nurse for 22 years and have served in a variety of roles. I started as a staff nurse and then was an educator for five years. And then later as a manager, I was able to get the bigger picture, making sure that everyone meets requirements, that HCAHPS scores are maintained, etc. Having done all of those roles as a staff nurse, educator and manager, I feel I have a good perspective and can help other hospitals and individuals in each one of those positions.
The maternal care surveys are new to hospitals; what advice can you offer them as they prepare for the process?
Prepare as though it is a Joint Commission survey. Expect it to be as intense as a Joint Commission survey. The survey team will review lab, radiology, dietary, case management, and so on. The people surveying us are people who are working in the perinatal world so they know what to look for, and they will uncover any weaknesses. Begin planning early and take advantage of the tools that are online from the DSHS website, like the gap analysis, and from the Texas Perinatal Services website.
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About Gloria Delgado
Gloria Delgado, MSN, RNC-OB, has 22 years’ experience in women’s health services. She has held positions as labor and delivery staff nurse, women’s services nurse educator, unit director and director of women’s services. She received her BSN from The University of Texas at El Paso, and a master of science in nursing and healthcare systems management specialization from Loyola University.