The United States spends significantly more money on the delivery of health care yet experiences inferior results. Maternal and infant mortality rates are elevated in the United States as compared to other high-income nations. In an effort to improve outcomes and increase the value of services, healthcare organizations throughout the country have developed and monitor quality measures. Such measures exist in the obstetric space, but are largely considered insufficient, particularly in relation to high-risk pregnancies.
To address these gaps and attempt to hasten the adoption of impactful quality measures, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) convened a workshop with other national leaders in obstetric care, including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Entitled, “The Quality Measures in High-Risk Pregnancies Workshop,” the event took place on February 3-4, 2016 in conjunction with SMFM’s 36th Annual Pregnancy Meeting™ and an executive summary of the workshop was published in the October 2017 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG).
The expert participants of the workshop suggested that the following topics merit quality measures.
“The SMFM-led workshop provided an incredible opportunity to convene a multidisciplinary group of the nation’s leading scientists and clinicians in high-risk pregnancy care,” said lead author of the AJOG executive summary and Secretary-Treasurer of SMFM, Brian K. Iriye, MD. “The commitment of the participants and the national organizations that they represented, demonstrates the resolve our organizations possess towards the realization of meaningful quality measures for high-risk obstetric conditions to optimize the care of women and their infants.”
Consensus among workshop participants included the need for enhanced electronic health records and the formation of a national birth certificate system in order to implement and further refine the recommended quality measures.