Case Study: Engagement of Title V, Healthy Start and Families to Increase New Mother Wellness in NJ
Improvement work is most effective when we seek out and engage those who will benefit from the outcomes of the change. When that improvement work involves maternal and child health programs, the engagement of mothers brings unique insight and experience that is critical to success.
A new issue brief, co-authored by the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and NICHQ, explores how New Jersey engaged mothers in its efforts to improve postpartum visit rates as a strategy to increase new mother wellness. The issue brief is a result of a commitment to spread learnings from the NICHQ-led Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (Infant Mortality CoIIN).
10 Key Steps for Engaging Families and Patients
Source: Infant Mortality CoIIN Case Study: Aligning Title V, Healthy Start, and Families to Increase New Mother Wellness in New Jersey
For their initiative, New Jersey used several key steps (see box) to engage families and patients. First, the state team recognized the need for family and patient engagement, then identified roles for moms in improving postpartum visit rates, found ways to reach out to moms and created a mechanism for learning from their perspectives via focus groups. As a result, the improvement team learned of barriers to postpartum visits that were different than what community health workers cited.
In interviews, nearly 90 percent of community health workers said women skip postpartum visits because of transportation barriers. Mothers however shared that the most common reason for skipping the postpartum visit was not fully understanding the importance of it for their health. Mothers associated the visit with depression, and saw no reason to attend if they were not depressed.
“By engaging parents in the conversation, the New Jersey team could make better decisions about the interventions that would be most effective to improve postpartum visit rates,” says NICHQ Executive Project Director Pat Heinrich, RN, MSN, CLE. “That’s why patient engagement is so important and so fundamental to improvement efforts.”
The parent feedback led to the pilot of an information campaign about the value of postpartum visits. It included a renaming of the visit to focus more on overall wellness. Read the full issue brief to learn about interventions the New Jersey team implemented and their success. And be sure to check out this story on parent engagement from a New Jersey parent partner working with us on the NICHQ-led Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems CoIIN.
Find additional case studies of state efforts to improve infant mortality rates in the Infant Mortality CoIIN Prevention Toolkit.
The Opioid Epidemic and Maternal Health: Three Opportunities for Change
Opioid use disorder in pregnancy has increased dramatically across the country in the last decade, bringing with it increased health risks for mothers and babies. Health professionals can help change these statistics by making the most of every interaction they have with new mothers, from prenatal care to building postpartum supports. Click in for advice from experts in the field.
Driving Improvement with Motivational Interviewing
Change is most effective, and most sustainable, when individuals choose to make the change because they’ve realized it supports their goals. While eliciting that realization isn’t always easy, drawing on motivational interviewing (MI) can help. Click in for three strategies to get your team started on using this technique.
Better Sleep for Breastfeeding Mothers, Safer Sleep for Babies
How do you realistically support tired and overwhelmed mothers to breastfeed safely? This all too common question haunts maternal health professionals who seek to encourage both breastfeeding and safe sleep habits. Here, Michael Goodstein, MD, a neonatologist and safe sleep and breastfeeding expert, offers three opportunities for improvement.
How Home Visits are Changing Asthma Outcomes in Florida
Childhood asthma emergency room visits disproportionately affect families are under financial strain. Home visiting programs can help by providing convenient, individualized advice. But how can we ensure those programs target the populations most in need of support? Florida may have the solution.
Living to Make Mason Proud
When the Weaver family lost their son to an unexplained cause of death, they were left devastated and confused. Now, they’re working to raise awareness about sudden unexpected infant deaths so that other families won’t experience what they went through. Read their story here.
Taking on a Leading Cause of Maternal Death: Improving Postpartum Hemorrhage Care
New York State is testing a set of evidence-based strategies that hospitals can implement to improve postpartum hemorrhage care. Here, Peter Cherouny, MD, a clinical advisor for the project, offers insight and initial findings on three areas those strategies seek to improve.