Institute for Healthcare Improvement Takes on Maternity Care

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the leading nonprofit organization working to accelerate change in healthcare, has been in the news this month because its CEO, Donald Berwick, was recently nominated to head up the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (For those not familiar with Berwick, read his phenomenal article, “What ‘Patient-Centered’ Should Mean: Confessions of an Extremist“). Berwick himself and IHI’s Managing Director, Sue Gullo, RN, were key players in the recent Transforming Maternity Care Project coordinated by Childbirth Connection. Now, the IHI is rolling out programs to help hospitals and health care systems implement some of the work put forth in the project’s Blueprint for Action. These initiatives also coincide with the new Joint Commission perinatal core measures which hospitals may implement as of this month. Here’s what is on offer so far:

  • Earlier this month, IHI recorded Momentum for Maternity of the Safest Kind, a podcast with the Transforming Maternity Care leadership about trends in health care for pregnant women, new mothers, and newborns and the work needed to reliably provide safe and effective care, reduce disparities, and rein in costs.
  • On Tuesday, May 4 from 3-4 PM ET, Sue Gullo will host a public call to discuss the IHI’s work on improving safety in second-stage labor. The call can be accessed through the IHI Webex System (Click on Improving Perinatal Care Collaborative Info Call) or via land line at 866-469-3239 (enter the session ID 354 952 217*. More information can be found on IHI’s Improving Perinatal Care page.
  • A series of seven web-based sessions for hospital staff involved in quality improvement efforts will focus on the safe use of oxytocin for induction, starting with avoiding all elective deliveries before 39 weeks. The series begins May 14.

To keep up with other IHI offerings, you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter

WebEx Log-in Instructions:
* Go to ihi.webex.com (Note: There is no “www”)
* From the top of the page, select the “Event center tab”
* ” Improving Perinatal Care Collaborative Info Call” will be a listed session. From the status column, select “Join Now” and follow instructions.
To join by telephone only (or if you are having trouble joining via web):
Call (866-469-3239; click here for global call-in numbers <https://ihi.webex.com/ihi/globalcallin.php?serviceType=TC&ED=106051772&tollFree=1> ) and enter the session ID # (354 952 217*).  If you experience any difficulties, please contact Lauren at lmusick@ihi.org.

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  1. | #1

    Please, PLEASE tell me the “safe use of oxytocin” series will talk about DOSING of oxytocin, because the whole “Pit to distress” thing drives me NUTS. Women do not need to have their Pitocin drip rate doubled every 15 minutes!

  2. | #2

    @Knitted in the Womb
    My understanding is that that is exactly what this program is aiming to do – do away with aggressive, unsafe pit protocols and improve communication among staff so nurses aren’t fighting with doctors about whether the pit can be turned off/down.

  3. | #3

    Hi Amy,
    Thanks so much for bringing this information to your readers attention and for all the work you do to improve care to Moms and Babies! Our work at IHI has focused on the reliable and safe delivery of all intrapartum care, oxytocin being a place to start since it is used in such great numbers. Our goal is to break the current circle and we are doing it! For results we have seen a significant decrease in admissions to a higher level of care for the newborn by following the IHI Oxytocin Bundles and improved teamwork and communication. This means thousands of babies are staying with their Moms and have a healthier start to their precious new life! We can do it! Birth is a tremendous happening and we are seeing the shift back to normal birth and less interventions.
    Thank you for all that you do to raise awareness and your subscribers!

  4. avatar
    | #4

    **A series of seven web-based sessions for hospital staff involved in quality improvement efforts will focus on the safe use of oxytocin for induction, starting with avoiding all elective deliveries before 39 weeks.**

    I’m encouraged by the words **starting with** in the above sentence. I know sometimes we must take baby steps but my hope would be that soon it will read “avoiding all elective deliveries” period (remove the before 39 weeks) because elective means that they are not medically indicated.

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