TeamBirth Model Expanding in Mass. to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes

With the goal of improving maternal health outcomes in Massachusetts, Point32Health, the Canton, Massachusetts-based parent company of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, and Ariadne Labs are expanding TeamBirth, an innovation in the clinically proven, to additional provider groups throughout Massachusetts. .

The expansion follows a successful pilot of the program with UMass Memorial Medical Center. Ariadne Labs is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

Research has found that communication failures between providers and patients are responsible for 80 to 90 percent of the preventable injuries suffered by women and babies during childbirth and are among the most frequently cited root causes in reviews of maternal mortality and morbidity.

Point32 says TeamBirth improves safety, dignity, and equity in childbirth by structuring the essential information that must be communicated during each birth assessment. The program allows for communication between the mother, family, and clinical care team, including a live birth plan, storyboards, and birth plan “huddles” between the clinical team throughout the delivery; and a pair of decision-making tools aimed at reducing cesarean births.

“Statistics on maternal health outcomes in this country are well-reported, and we must do everything we can to improve health care for pregnant women,” Glenn Pomerantz, MD, JD, chief medical officer of Point32Health, said in a statement. “Creating a more equitable health system is one of our top priorities, and developing programs focused on improving maternity care is integral to our overall strategy. Our continued work with Ariadne Labs allows us to address systemic inequalities within the care system while improving maternity care for all.”

“Every person deserves equal access to a safe and dignified birth experience,” Amber Weiseth, DNP, MSN, RNC-OB, director of Ariadne Labs’ Birth Decisions Initiative, said in a statement. “We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Point32Health, the Massachusetts Perinatal-Neonatal Quality Improvement Collaborative, the Betsy Lehman Center, and our dedicated hospital partners to bring TeamBirth to more patients across Massachusetts.”

Ninety-three percent of doctors surveyed in the Ariadne clinical trial said they believed TeamBirth improves care, and 87 percent of patients surveyed had the role they wanted in decisions about their birth. The more TeamBirth conversations that took place during labor, the more likely patients were to report a positive care experience, including having the role they wanted, understanding conversations with their team, and believing their preferences made a difference in their attention.

New health systems participating in the expansion include:

  • Baystate Franklin Medical Center (Birthplace, Greenfield)
  • Boston Medical Center, Boston
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
  • Cape Cod Hospital, Hyannis
  • Fairview Hospital, Greater Barrington
  • Mercy Medical Center, Springfield
  • Robust health | Robust Memorial Hospital, Attleboro
  • St Vincent’s Hospital, Worcester
  • Tufts Medical Center, Boston

“The doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who care for people giving birth are grateful that Point32Health supported our implementation of TeamBirth. We are also deeply grateful for the leadership and support of Ariadne Labs in expertly guiding their implementation” said Robert L. Barbieri, MD, interim chief of obstetrics at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, in a statement. “At Brigham, TeamBirth has significantly increased our birthing patients’ perception that their symptoms, lived experiences, and preferences are elicited, recognized, and respected by our clinicians. We believe the structured TeamBirth meeting elevates the voice of the birthing person. gives birth, encouraging and empowering patients to talk, share their goals, and express their concerns By improving communication between all members of the delivery team, including the patient, support persons, the labor and delivery nurse, and the doctor/midwife, TeamBirth improves birth outcomes and patient care. reported satisfaction with their care. I highly recommend that all birth centers consider implementing TeamBirth.”

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