loading gif icon

Relias Press Release

Relias Report Emphasizes Urgent Need for Improved Training and Resources in Maternal Health Care

New research reveals widespread gaps and disparities in maternal mortality and morbidity prevention practices

Relias, the trusted education and workforce enablement partner to 12,000 healthcare and human services organizations and 4.5 million caregivers, today announced the release of its 2024 Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Prevention Report, which identifies key areas of maternal care requiring greater attention and resources from healthcare organizations to support overall maternal health.

Expanding on the 2021 edition, Relias broadened the scope of maternal risks examined and added two new sections addressing factors that contribute to maternal mortality and morbidity. With insights from 749 participating nurses and physicians who care for obstetric patients, the report analyzes their perceptions of maternal health practices at their organizations and provides strategies for healthcare leaders to improve maternal care and safety.

Findings revealed insufficient attention to social factors, including racism and implicit bias, as maternal health risks, in addition to providing necessary remediations.

“The peripartum patient has a unique combination of health factors. Not only are there a range of specific physical and behavioral health concerns, but also very real risks related to the social determinants of health, including racism and implicit bias,” said “Nurse Alice” Benjamin, MSN, ACNS-BC, FNP-C, CCRN, CEN, CV-BC, Chief Nursing Consultant, Nurse.com by Relias. “Who they are and where they live should not impact a patient’s access to the care they need, yet we see in the data that this is still happening.”

When asked about maternal mortality and morbidity prevention efforts, the majority of providers and clinicians surveyed perceived social factors to be a maternal health risk. However, nearly one-fifth of respondents did not share this perception, revealing a gap that correlates to poor maternal health outcomes in the U.S.

E-learning emerged as the most prevalent and effective training modality for preventing adverse maternal outcomes, particularly for social and behavioral risk factors. For maternal harm related to social determinants of health, 56% of the providers and clinicians surveyed reported using e-learning as an education tool and rated it as more effective than any other type of training modality.

Obstetric education solutions like Relias OB, which provides personalized, data-driven learning accredited for both providers and nurses, can help identify and reduce variation across the full care team. This interdisciplinary approach helps bridge knowledge and critical thinking gaps, improves teamwork and communication that results in improved maternal health outcomes.

“Now more than ever, it’s time to ensure clinicians know and can apply the evidence-based standards recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, particularly in the areas of obstetric hemorrhage and hypertension or preeclampsia, which have higher rates of maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity,” said Lora Sparkman, MHA, BSN, RN, VP, Partner, Clinical Solutions, Patient Safety and Quality, Relias. “When care delivery varies so much among individual providers, nurses, and entire health systems, maternal health outcomes are negatively impacted.”

“The key is awareness, attention, accountability, and action — starting with making sure our clinical front-line teams are consistently assessed and trained to ensure that they’re prepared for mental health and clinical emergencies — regardless of who the person is or where they live,” said Sparkman. “Evidence-based guidelines do not discriminate. They create standard practice, based on science.”

To read the full report, visit Relias for complete findings and recommendations.

About Relias

Relias provides lifelong workforce enablement solutions for 12,000 healthcare and human services organizations and 4.5 million caregivers to drive measurable outcomes. Customers use Relias solutions to attract and retain talent, elevate care quality and reduce risk with our technology, services, community, and expertise. The Relias family of brands — Nurse.com, Wound Care Education Institute, Relias Academy, FreeCME, and Relias Media — serves the entire healthcare community and shares a common goal of improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of society and those who care for them. 

For more information:

Recent Press Releases

Connect with Us

to find out more about our training and resources

Request Demo