Three New Jersey hospitals have launched TeamBirth NJ, an evidence-based, national model for better provider and patient communication, which is also called “shared decision-making.”
TeamBirth NJ will enhance birthing experiences and improve outcomes for people giving birth and their babies, the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (Quality Institute) announced today.
The Quality Institute, in partnership with Ariadne Labs, is leading the initiative in the state. The New Jersey Department of Health provided funding and is a TeamBirth NJ partner, ensuring that lessons learned will be shared across the state.
The three hospitals involved in the launch are RWJBarnabas Health’s Monmouth Medical Center; Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center; and Virtua Voorhees Hospital. TeamBirth also launched at Virtua Health’s Midwifery Birth and Wellness Center.
TeamBirth, a structured method to foster better communication between the clinical team and the person giving birth, was developed by Ariadne Labs, which is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. TeamBirth was designed around best practices in communication, teamwork, and clinical care.
“At the Quality Institute, we have long worked to improve maternal infant outcomes,” said Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. “Bringing TeamBirth to New Jersey advances this critical mission by strengthening communication between providers and patients. We know that patients who are empowered to make decisions about their care that better reflect their personal preferences often experience more favorable outcomes.”
New Jersey Department of Health data show that pregnancy-related deaths in the state, measured per 100,000 live births, have been increasing: from 12.8 (2011–2013) to 15.0 (2014–2016). This trend is especially distressing because three in five pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some deaths, such as those from severe bleeding, high blood pressure, and blood clots, are highly preventable. Additionally, unacceptable racial disparities exist in New Jersey, where Black, Non-Hispanic women had approximately seven times more pregnancy-related deaths, according to data from 2014-2016 (46.9 per 100,000 live births) than White, Non-Hispanic women (6.5 per 100,000 live births).
TeamBirth now has been implemented in more than 60 hospitals around the country, collectively involving more than 1,500 clinicians and more than 67,000 mothers and babies.
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