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Methodist Joins HHS Perinatal Improvement Collaborative To Improve Outcomes for Mothers and Babies Across the Nation

Published: Nov. 19, 2021

Methodist Women’s Hospital and Methodist Fremont Health have joined in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Perinatal Improvement Collaborative, a large-scale, data-driven effort that includes over 200 leading hospitals caring for diverse populations in all 50 states.

Methodist Fremont Health has been participating in the collaborative since 2017. This will mark the first year for Methodist Women’s Hospital.

The collaborative is overseen by the HHS Office on Women’s Health (OWH) and uses real-time data, analytics and performance improvement methodologies from Premier Inc.

The HHS Perinatal Improvement Collaborative will test interventions and protocols to reduce preventable deaths and complications among mothers and their babies. Using Premier’s comprehensive and timely PINC AI™ Healthcare Database (PHD), a standardized data collection system, the program will be able to quickly generate solutions for safer obstetric and neonatal care that can be implemented nationwide.

“To participate in a collaborative of this scale will be significant for both Methodist Women’s Hospital and Methodist Fremont Health,” said Patty Bauer, vice president of Methodist Women’s Hospital. “As a regional leader in perinatal care, we’re constantly striving to improve outcomes for our moms and babies. To be part of and have access to this level of data will be imperative to us as we continue providing the highest level of care to moms, babies and families in our communities.”

At its core, the initiative is a health equity effort that strives to address troubling disparities in birth outcomes and examine how care might be reliably tailored to mothers with different needs. The collaborative will focus on:

  • Reliable and timely data: Up-to-date standardized data used by the collaborative will integrate administrative, quality and safety, cost and utilization, electronic health record (EHR), and social determinants data across settings, including linking mothers’ and infants’ records. This integrated data will help paint a complete picture of the patient and circumstances surrounding clinical care to improve measurement and comparisons across geographies and populations.
  • Broader lens: The collaborative will investigate the outcomes of mothers and babies individually, as well as the dyad, to understand how outcomes between the two are directly linked. Linking the inpatient data of newborns to their mothers’ provides an opportunity to identify if the direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality increase a newborn’s risk of lifelong morbidity and mortality. It will also identify existing health risks of women, or those resulting from pregnancy, to prevent negative health impacts for women and their babies. This comprehensive data will help improve data quality and enhance evaluation and research of pregnancy on overall population health.
  • Identifying disparities: This collaborative aims to address health equity by identifying social determinants of health and uncovering strategies to reduce persistent racial, ethnic and geographic disparities in care to help reduce risks for mothers and babies most susceptible to poor health outcomes.

“Premier is passionate about using data that informs clinical best practices to help improve care for mothers and babies,” said Michael J. Alkire, president and CEO of Premier. “We are honored to partner with Methodist Women’s Hospital and Methodist Fremont Health to continue providing the gold standard for health care data, unmatched measurement and analytics capabilities, and a proven track record of working together to help make America the safest place in the world to give birth.”

The effort will be guided by an external advisory panel comprising of more than 20 expert clinicians and thought leaders, as well as patient partners from MoMMA’s Voices, a coalition of advocacy organizations focused on leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity.

Maternal health is an important indicator for infant health,” said Dorothy Fink, MD, deputy assistant secretary for Women’s Health and OWH director. “If we can standardize quality care for women during pregnancy and after giving birth, we can change the current trajectory of maternal and infant death. When mothers have better health, we create better opportunities for infants and the larger community to have better health. I’m excited that this collaboration will help us fulfill the HHS Maternal Health Action Plan and the vision that our nation is the safest for women to give birth. At HHS, we are committed to making this happen.”