Leadership Corner: Maternal and Infant Health - Keeping Moms and Babies Safe

Posted on May 02, 2019

The Leadership Corner features monthly updates from the MHA leadership team. The updates will provide new insights to patient safety and quality as well as information obtained from healthcare workshops and conferences across the country.

Brittany Bogan, FACHE, CPPS, senior vice president of safety & quality, MHA, and executive director of the MHA Keystone Center, discusses maternal health and what Michigan hospitals are doing to keep moms and babies safe and healthy.

Brittany BoganThere have been countless news stories lately about the increase in maternal morbidity and mortality rates in the United States. The tragic statistics show women in this country are more likely to die from childbirth- or pregnancy-related causes than any other high-income country. Furthermore, recent reviews by the Michigan Maternal Mortality Surveillance Committee found that 44% of pregnancy-related deaths in the state were preventable, and women of color are affected at 2 to 3 times the rate of non-Hispanic white women.

While multiple factors contribute to these deaths, reviews at both the state and national level have identified preventable contributors that healthcare providers can address. I’m proud to say that Michigan hospitals are very actively engaged in improvement efforts to ensure that all pregnant women, new mothers and their babies receive the appropriate care to stay healthy.

On March 12 and 13, over 500 attendees gathered in East Lansing for the annual Maternal Infant Health Statewide Summit. The summit was hosted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Maternal Infant Strategy Group and the Michigan Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (MI AIM).

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled the 2019 Mother Infant Health Equity and Improvement Plan at this event, which articulates the bold vision of “Zero preventable deaths. Zero health disparities.” The plan builds upon the existing momentum of work being done in Michigan to improve the health of moms and babies and recognizes that disparities contribute to poor health outcomes.

By bringing together community partners across the state and promoting health equity as a priority, we can identify marginalized populations and address persistent health disparities.

Hospitals in Michigan are currently participating in two statewide initiatives — the Obstetrics Initiative (OBI) and MI AIM — to address these disparities and reduce the risk of maternal death.

  • OBI is an interdisciplinary quality initiative that engages maternity care providers and hospitals in a collaborative effort to safely reduce the use of primary cesarean deliveries for low-risk pregnancies in Michigan hospitals.
  • The MI AIM initiative strives to decrease maternal mortality and morbidity by working with birthing hospitals and providers to implement the national AIM Obstetric Hemorrhage and Severe Hypertension in Pregnancy safety bundles.

Hospitals that participate in OBI and MI AIM were recognized at two different events this spring: the Maternal Infant Health Statewide Summit and the April OBI SemiAnnual Meeting in Ann Arbor.  Forty-six Michigan birthing hospitals were also recognized with three different levels of designation — bronze, silver and gold — for implementing the AIM safety bundles and improving health outcomes. A full list of the designated hospitals is available online.

The MHA Keystone Center is proud to be a partner in the OBI and MI AIM initiatives and serve in a lead role for AIM data collection, analysis and reporting. The MI AIM initiative builds upon the work that was started in 2009 with the MHA Keystone: Obstetrics collaborative, which supported and guided Michigan hospitals in the identification of best practices for improving maternal health outcomes. The maternal safety bundles being implemented today help fully equip hospitals with actionable protocols, necessary equipment, staff education and staff drills to prevent and adequately treat severe maternal events. Simulations have been a critical intervention in helping labor and delivery teams prepare and train for these high-risk events and allow staff to review the safety bundle protocols that are being adopted. As Michelle Norcross, MSA, senior director of safety and quality, MHA Keystone Center, shared in her Leadership Corner article last month, the MHA Keystone Center continues to develop new simulation opportunities, and we encourage hospital teams to join us for a full day of simulation-related training at our spring workshop May 30.

Additional resources on efforts to address maternal mortality:

This article was featured in the MHA Keystone Center Newsletter. To subscribe, please contact Ashley Sandborn, MHA Keystone Center communications specialist.


  • Leadership Corner: Maternal and Infant Health - Keeping Moms and Babies Safe

Tags: MI AIM, maternal, Obstetrics, Leadership Corner, Brittany Bogan, OBI, maternal mortality

Posted in: MHA Rounds, Patient Safety & Quality

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