The multidisciplinary Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care (the Council), which ACOG has supported from its inception in 2011, has been awarded a four-year, $4 million cooperative agreement* from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HSRA) Maternal and Child Health Program. The goal is to prevent 100,000 severe complications during delivery hospitalizations and 1,000 maternal deaths over the course of the funding period.
The agreement funds the program “Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM): Improving Maternal Health and Safety,” enabling the Council to expand its work on the National Partnership for Maternal Safety. AIM will collaborate with public, private, and professional organizations to focus on the areas of obstetric hemorrhage, severe hypertension, venous thromboembolism, reduction of primary cesarean births, and reduction of racial disparities during pregnancy contributing to maternal morbidity and mortality.
AIM will explore improved implementation of preconception, postpartum, and interconception women’s healthcare. It will achieve its efforts through the development and rollout of a series of evidence-based patient-safety bundles–small, straightforward sets of evidence-based practices that when performed collectively and reliably have been proven to improve patient outcomes. The bundles, supplemental materials, and technical assistance will be made freely available for any interested U.S. birth center registering for AIM. In addition, AIM will provide concentrated implementation assistance, training, data analysis, and ongoing support to eight states progressively over the funding period.
The AIM leadership team, in addition to ACOG, includes the American College of Nurse Midwives; the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs; the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses; and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. More than 25 organizations and agencies comprise the National Partnership for Maternal Safety and will be called on to assist in the recruitment of participating birth facilities and to provide technical assistance as appropriate. They will also assist in generating public awareness to assure widespread implementation of the bundles across the country.
Data submitted to AIM by hospitals and states will drive AIM’s continuous quality improvement efforts through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of aggregate, real-time data to participating entities. These data will enable states and engaged hospitals to benchmark progress against others within their region that are of similar size or have a similar patient mix and to adjust implementation efforts accordingly.
Through this dual approach of providing both open access to evidence-based quality improvement materials and focused support with benchmarking capabilities, AIM is expected to directly affect over 50% of all births occurring in the United States by the end of the funding period. The goal is to initiate the kind of widespread culture change that is needed to truly improve maternal health and safety for women in the United States.
Materials developed by AIM will be made available for download on the Council’s website: SafeHealthcareForEveryWoman.org.
*$1,000,000 has been awarded for year one; subsequent funding is contingent on success during this period.