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September 2011
Maternity Care Moving from Vision to Action through the TMC Partnership!

In this Issue:
Essay contest accepting submissions on the costs of care | Home Birth Consensus Summit will bring system stakeholders together | Maternity Care Improvement: Will It Play in Peoria? | New VBAC resources for women and advocates | Registration open for September 28 patient safety webinar | New government resource shows how Health IT is transforming health care | ACOG and ACNM recognize successful models of collaborative practice

Dear Friend,

We've seen several exciting shifts over recent months that bode well for transforming maternity care. Multi-stakeholder collaboration is moving conversations forward and sparking action. What's more, maternity care is finally on the national healthcare quality improvement agenda. It's time to take advantage of this opportunity to ramp up the dialogue to ensure high-quality care for all women and babies.

In this issue we highlight new conversations about two of the most controversial issues in maternity care: vaginal birth after cesarean and home birth. We also feature a multi-stakeholder state-wide effort to improve maternity care in Illinois, and four examples of midwives and obstetricians coming together in successful collaborative practices. This month you'll also find updates on national initiatives related to Health IT and patient safety where Childbirth Connection has helped make sure the needs and perspectives of childbearing families are addressed, as well as an opportunity to share your own perspective in a national conversation about health care.

Recognizing that the health and safety of mothers and babies is a national priority and committing to engaging all stakeholders formed the foundation of our Transforming Maternity Care Project. These same principles are essential to achieve rapid progress toward our shared vision of high-quality, high-value maternity care.

Take Action: Help Transform Maternity Care

Essay contest accepting submissions on the costs of care
Did you pay more than you expected for your pregnancy and birth care? Did you try to figure out how much care might cost and discover prices are impossible to pin down? Did you figure out a way to get as good or better care at a lower cost? The Costs of Care Essay Contest is accepting submissions from clinicians and consumers through November 15. One of last year's winners, Tarcia Edmunds-Jehu, CNM, wrote a compelling essay about how unreimbursed ultrasound tests literally took food out of the mouths of a hard-working family expecting their third child. As the Transforming Maternity Care Project has demonstrated, high-value care is the exception rather than the norm in the United States, so we know there are many more stories to be told about the costs of maternity care. With an impressive list of judges and cash prizes, this is an important opportunity to advocate for high-value maternity care, and perhaps to pay off medical bills. Learn more at the Costs of Care Contest Page.

Good News from the Field: Partners Putting the Blueprint into Action

From the TMC Directory: Home Birth Consensus Summit will bring stakeholders together to address collaboration and system integration
A Home Birth Consensus Summit has been organized to foster the dialogue needed to find common ground and spark constructive action around the provision of home birth services. Childbirth Connection staff will participate in the summit, which will encourage dialogue among health care professionals, consumers, policy makers, and other leaders from disciplines that support maternity care, with the shared goal of identifying a common agenda that will ultimately benefit all stakeholder groups. Read more in the TMC Directory.

From the TMC Blog: Maternity Care Improvement: Will It Play in Peoria?
You've probably heard the phrase, "Will it play in Peoria"? It originated in the early '20s and '30s during the US vaudeville era, when Peoria, IL was a popular stop for vaudeville acts and performances. If a show was well received in Peoria, it was likely to work throughout the country. Peoria has since become a well-known test market to gauge the popularity of products and ideas nationwide. So what does this have to do with maternity care? Well, in this case, what's playing in Peoria goes way beyond products and ideas to a full-blown actionable healthcare quality improvement project called "Healthy Babies, Healthy Moms." Read more on the TMC Blog.

Consider This: Resources to Expand Your Vision for Improvement

New VBAC resources for women and advocates
Childbirth Connection has updated two key VBAC resources. The VBAC or Repeat C-section Topic provides evidence-based guidance, tips and tools, and additional resources for women considering birth options after one or more prior cesareans. We've also updated our chart showing US rates and trends for all cesareans, primary cesareans, and VBACs. While the evidence that VBAC is a reasonable option has been around for years, the VBAC rate remains low. On the TMC Blog, we explore what high-quality VBAC care looks like, and propose a quality framework for making VBAC as safe, accessible, and satisfying as it can possibly be. Read "Reasonable Choices for Bringing Back VBAC" on the TMC Blog.

Patient safety webinar zeros in on maternity care
The Partnership for Patients national program for improving patient safety is one of the first times we've seen maternity care on the national agenda. Reducing obstetrical adverse events is one of ten priority patient safety areas. Together with the National Priorities Partnership, the Partnership for Patients will offer a free webinar on September 28 about patient safety in maternity care. The webinar will address strategies to meet the national goal of eliminating 30% of preventable obstetrical adverse events and will feature Childbirth Connection's Maureen Corry and patient safety expert Kathleen Rice Simpson. Registration is now open.

New government resource shows how Health IT is transforming health care
Development and use of Health Information Technology (Health IT) was one of the 11 focal areas of the Blueprint for Action. For those of us who are less tech-savvy, it may be hard to understand how Health IT tools can help support high quality maternity care. A new resource from the federal government makes Health IT relevant and engaging with personal stories and resources that highlight how Health IT has already begun to transform how health care is delivered, measured, coordinated, and experienced. Childbirth Connection is a member of the Consumer Consortium for eHealth, a public-private partnership that helped develop the new site's content for patients and families. Learn more.

Cause for Optimism: Maternity Care Moving in the Right Direction

From the TMC Blog: Award-winning articles explore successful models of collaborative practice between midwives and obstetricians
On the heels of a joint statement released last April from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the two organizations have announced the winning papers among 60 submitted on the Issue of the Year, "Successful Models of Collaborative Practice in Maternity Care." The articles appear in the September issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology and will be in a forthcoming issue of The Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health. Read study summaries on the TMC Blog.

maureen_corry signature
Maureen Corry
Executive Director
Childbirth Connectio

Most recent page update: 12/12/2011

© 2016 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.

Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.
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