Changing the Narrative on Maternal Mortality: A Paradigm Shift That Can’t Wait
While the U.S. has become somewhat synonymous with advanced medical care, maternal care is lacking in quality. In fact, more American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country — and is the only country where the rate is rising. The U.S. has the worst record in the developed world, while nearly 60% of maternal deaths are considered preventable.
Despite groundbreaking evidence and media attention for several years, little has changed in the maternal mortality narrative. Due to the lack of progress from our nation’s hospitals and health systems, many quality organizations have intervened to set standards and requirements in place that will ensure hospitals and health systems follow best practices to rapidly and drastically affect mothers’ and babies’ care. This white paper outlines where we are as a nation, where we need to go in terms of improvement, and most importantly — how to get there. Major areas of focus for reducing maternal mortality discussed include the importance of:
- Developing a culture of high reliability
- Reducing variation in care
- Considering social determinants of health
- Providing patient education