Leading Causes of Maternal Mortality and Morbidity

The U.S. has the highest maternal death rate among the world’s developed nations, a rate that has continued to rise while remaining stable or falling in other developed countries. Many factors contribute: lack of quantification of blood loss, delayed treatment of high blood pressure, and more recently, a high rate of cesarean deliveries in low-risk, first-time pregnant women.

Cesarean Sections

Too often, cesarean sections are performed in the absence of medical necessity. Gain insight into the factors driving these high rates, access to effective strategies to promote vaginal birth and maintain cesarean birth rates at targeted levels.

Lower C-section Rates. Download a White Paper on Promoting Vaginal Births.

Obstetric Hemorrhage

Anomalous or excessive bleeding can happen at any delivery, at anytime. As the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, ensure that your providers and nurses are prepared to quantify blood loss to quickly identify and treat obstetric hemorrhage.

Be Prepared. Download an Infographic on 7 Steps to Prepare for Blood Loss.

Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy

Due to factors such as the obesity epidemic, delayed childbearing and an increase in C-section rates, hypertensive disorders continue to be one of the top causes of maternal mortality. Prepare your providers and nurses with the knowledge and skills to address this challenge.

Share the Knowledge. Download an Infographic on 3 Keys to Reduce Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment.

Learn Best Practices From Leading Perinatal Safety Organizations

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St. Luke's
Identifying and Responding to OB Hemorrhages

Two nurse leaders from St. Lukes's share and intense, poignant story of a mother who lost her life hours after delivering at at one of their hospitals. The experience ignited a sense of urgency across the healthcare system to be able to identify and respond to OB hemorrhages.

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Providence St. Joseph Health
Maternal Safety: Using Data to Drive System-Wide Improvement

Providence St. Joseph Health highlights how they have achieved better outcomes surrounding OB hemorrhages through system infrastructure and processes, including identifying and communicating risk, preparing and responding to hemorrhages, and implementing a toolkit.

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Dignity Health
Driving Improvement in Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy

Dignity Health, now part of CommonSpirit Health, shares how they successfully reduced their eclampsia rate by more than 40% across the health system through standardization of education and care, transparency and accountability, physician collaboration, and simulation training.

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BETA Healthcare Group
Quest for Zero: Improving Care and Safety

BETA Healthcare Group’s “Quest for Zero” obstetrical safety program strives to reach zero preventable, unanticipated events resulting in patient harm. This proactive initiative is in place to drive excellence in care, improve patient safety, and save more mothers’ and babies’ lives. BETA has experienced a 55% reduction in OB claims since its inception.

Frequently Asked Questions

Articles in USA Today and The New York Times have brought attention to the maternal mortality crisis, followed by the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act and Congressional Inquiry. The reality is that there is a significant amount of variation in care despite having national evidence-based guidelines and protocols for the areas where women die most commonly in pregnancy and after delivery. Therefore, rapid patient safety improvement for our mothers and their babies is of the utmost importance.

“Three factors known to be associated with a higher risk for C-section births—maternal obesity, multiple gestation rate, and rate of labor induction—have all risen in parallel to C-section births and are likely contributors. Although C-sections can be lifesaving, the surgery also involves serious risks and higher long-term costs, including medical costs related to treatment of abdominal pain and complications from pelvic adhesions compared to vaginal birth. The concern also lies in the high rate of cesarean delivery in low-risk, first-time pregnant women.”

Nurses and doctors are highly sophisticated, adult learners. Therefore, a typical cookie cutter, roll-and-scroll approach will not meet their needs. Instead:

  • Take a blended learning approach combining the best of e-learning and instructor-led training.
  • Respect established proficiency and focus learning only on identified areas for improvement.
  • Offer courses that are specifically created for adult learners, who make decisions not only through knowledge-based facts, but also through ever-evolving mental scripts based on years of clinical experience.

Many times, nurses and doctors are gathering information through different, siloed sources and education programs. Training all members of your care team on the same education platform, creates a shared mental model. Ensure that the education solution meets the different needs of the two groups, while still providing aligned information to improve communication and create a common language and vision for care.

Data from assessments can help hold your clinicians accountable for their continuous improvement. First, having data from an initial assessment, as well as a re-assessment, provides an objective measure of improvement (or lack thereof) of overall knowledge and critical thinking. Second, having data on industry benchmarks can help guide your conversations surrounding different clinical areas with individual clinicians, as well as at the facility level.

GNOSIS for OB is the former name of Relias OB. In 2014, Relias acquired Advanced Practice Strategies (APS), which established its reputation as an innovative market leader with two unique products: GNOSIS and Prophecy.

How Are You Preventing Maternal Mortality?

Delivering the next generation in obstetrics education can help elevate your entire care team’s performance. Reviewed and validated by AWHONN, Relias OB, formerly GNOSIS, reduces variation to empower high reliability and save mothers’ lives now.

  • Uncover Variation: Measure and identify individual clinician and team variation and deliver a prioritized, personalized learning path based on the highest areas of risk
  • Increase Proficiency: Promote best practices from world-renowned experts through short 2-7-minute, highly-interactive adult learning modules that inspire critical thinking
  • Improve Patient Safety: Equip hospital leaders and risk managers with data to proactively identify and invest in areas that will improve quality of care

Fill out the form to speak to a Relias representative to discuss expanding your organization’s current maternal mortality initiatives with transformational education that makes a difference in every team member’s care delivery.

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