The initiative, led by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with Merck for Mothers, aims to understand how to best support changes to clinical and administrative processes that will lead to safer and more equitable postpartum care and support for all mothers.
By Carol McPhail
USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital is one of five hospitals in the nation to join a six-month initiative to better understand the inequities that exist for mothers and their babies during the postpartum period in an effort to reduce mortality.
The initiative, led by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with Merck for Mothers, aims to understand how to best support changes to clinical and administrative processes that will lead to safer and more equitable postpartum care and support for all mothers. Nationwide, American Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We are honored to be part of this initiative along with some impressive partners,” said Deborah Browning, M.S.N., R.N., C.E.N.P., interim administrator and chief nursing officer for Children’s & Women’s Hospital. “We hope to emerge from the project with a deeper understanding of what’s behind these inequities and armed with more tools to improve patient care.”
A large interdisciplinary team with representatives from USA Health and the University of South Alabama will be working on the initiative. They will use AdaptX software to collect, synthesize and report back routing data entered into the electronic medical record on processes of care, stratified by race and ethnicity, by provider or unit. The almost real-time reports offer the potential for the hospital team to enact high-impact changes in the postpartum period to eliminate inequities in postpartum care.
“The opportunity to participate in the IHI learning community enables us to be vulnerable in better understanding our unconscious biases around the care we provide,” said Kristen Noles, D.N.P., C.N.L., performance improvement manager for USA Health. “We are committed to improving all aspects of care.”
In addition to Children’s & Women’s Hospital, participants include Indiana University Health/Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis; Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; and UChicago Medicine Family Birth Center in Chicago. The period began in January and runs through June.
The hospitals will have the opportunity to advance learning on best practices in postpartum care, test improvements to care delivery in real time, as well as deepen partnerships with community stakeholders. At the end of the six-month period, one hospital will be given the opportunity to work with the AdaptX software tool for an additional six months.