Lansing, Michigan – December 1, 2015 – Every ten minutes, a woman nearly dies from pregnancy-related complications and in 2010, Michigan had the eighth highest maternal mortality rate in the country with 86 deaths. In industrialized countries, maternal morbidities have increased fifty percent in the last decade.
To address the rising number of women who die as a result of childbirth, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Health & Hospital Association, and Wayne State University have joined forces in partnership with more than 30 national and local organizations to reduce severe morbidity and maternal mortality across the state of Michigan.
“This new partnership between MDHHS, MHA, and WSU is vital to saving the lives of women in Michigan during childbirth,” said Eden Wells, M.D., chief medical executive with MDHHS. “While Michigan’s national ranking is staggering, Detroit has three times the nation’s maternal mortality rate at 58.7 deaths per 100,000 births. We need to work collaboratively to address not only this issue as a whole but the health equity issues it poses for Michigan families as well.”
The Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) Program is a national partnership of organizations working to reduce severe maternal morbidity by 100,000 events and maternal mortality by 1,000 deaths by 2018. The national AIM Program will provide intensive technical assistance and implementation support to eight states. Five of the eight states participating thus far include: Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, and Oklahoma.
“The Michigan Maternal Mortality Surveillance Medical Committee has been working towards the reduction of maternal mortality for the past decade” said Robert J. Sokol, MD, chair of the MMMS Committee and Emeritus Dean and Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Physiology at Wayne State University. “We see an opportunity now to do a better job preventing maternal deaths and severe illness with our partners in this public private state wide consortium.”
The national AIM Program has created Maternal Safety Bundles, outlining a structured framework and overarching checklist of what every birthing unit should have. All bundles include examples of support for patients, families, and staff involved in traumatic events.
“With the MHA Keystone: Obstetrics (OB) collaborative impacting nearly 80 percent of all births in Michigan, our partnership with the national AIM Program will accelerate our work in driving continued safety and quality improvements for mothers and babies across the state,” said Sam R. Watson, executive director of the MHA Keystone Center and the MHA’s senior vice president of patient safety and quality. “Our current work through MHA Keystone: OB and the federal Partnership for Patients initiative seeks to decrease early elective births before 39 weeks and educate patients around labor management, induction, possible cesarean birth, postpartum hemorrhage and preeclampsia. This work has resulted in a reduction of early elective births by 60 percent from 2010 to 2014, and this new partnership will build upon the MHA Keystone Center’s extensive learning network developed for Michigan hospitals over the past decade.”
The Michigan partnership, called MI AIM, will work to provide information and resources to each birthing center in Michigan to ensure that every woman has access to best practices and the best chance for a safe and uneventful birth experience. MI AIM’s objectives are to:
- Recruit health care professionals as volunteers to lead and actively participate in this initiative and develop partnerships throughout the state.
- Evaluate all 84 Michigan birthing facilities to assess preparedness for maternal emergencies through the efforts of the MHA Keystone: OB collaborative, including teaching how to do drills, debriefings and other portions of continuous clinical improvement.
- Refine the Maternal Safety Bundles that the national organization has prepared to address Michigan’s specific issues. This will include assessing need, readiness, and potential for ease of integration into current practice.
- Using volunteers, ensure that each Michigan birthing facility has access to the bundles and understands how to use them. This will require site visits and a series of meetings.
- Evaluate which elements of the program are successful and which, if any, need further exploration. This will include a review of what vital statistics are processed and validated, how they are transmitted, and whether they are effective and timely.
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