Focusing on Population-Level, Collaborative, Perinatal Outcomes Improvement

Posted March 24, 2016 by Ed Donovan

Edward Donovan
Guest blogger Ed Donovan, MD
Improving all perinatal outcomes requires that public health entities such as state health departments and care providers work together. One part of this joint work could address variations in access to services associated with differences in insurance coverage, patient risk and geography. Measurement of perinatal health outcomes at the population level can help account for these changes in access.

Networks of perinatal care providers, public health professionals and other national initiatives like the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (IM CoIIN) can work together to increase the likelihood that very preterm infants are born in hospitals best able to care for them. Many refer to this as risk-appropriate care. There is evidence that appropriate site of delivery may increase the odds of good outcome by two to three fold.

It is becoming increasingly clear that efforts to improve risk-appropriate site of delivery may benefit from close collaboration among perinatal care providers, payers and public health organizations. State health departments and state hospital associations often manage repositories of population-level perinatal data while perinatal quality collaboratives can engage front-line providers. Collaborative partnerships among these entities can facilitate improved outcomes at the population level.

The STATES TOGETHER collaborative of state, perinatal, outcomes improvement collaboratives, supported by the Vermont Oxford Network, is learning how to foster these sorts of collaborative partnerships. STATES TOGETHER leaders are committed to sharing lessons learned transparently and welcoming new partners in this effort.

We are looking forward to other contributions to this work.


Ed Donovan, MD, is the faculty advisor for STATES TOGETHER, a Vermont Oxford Network perinatal outcomes improvement collaborative.


Learn more about NICHQ's services and how we can help your organization advance its improvement agenda.



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