BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Having a baby can be a healthy and joyful experience, but each year, an estimated 750 women die in the United States as a result of complications of childbirth, and more than 50,000 suffer serious complications. African-American women are disproportionally affected, with maternal mortality rates estimated to be three to four times higher than those of white women.
Seeking to improve outcomes for all women and babies in the US and reduce disparities in maternal health, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a leader in health and health care improvement worldwide, is beginning a large-scale, three-year project supported by a grant from Merck for Mothers. The goals are to spread the use of evidence-based care practices to reduce complications such as hemorrhaging, hypertension, and blood clots; deploy strategies to reduce disparities in maternal outcomes; and partner with women, their caregivers, health care providers, and community initiatives to better learn and address factors that improve health outcomes for mothers and newborns.
“IHI has proven experience in helping health care providers adopt and scale up best practices that save lives across whole systems, regions, and countries,” said Trissa Torres, MD, MSPH, FACPM, Chief Operations and North America Programs Officer, IHI. “We believe that by forging partnerships with others working on these problems and combining existing expertise with IHI’s improvement methodology, we can significantly improve care delivery outcomes for new and expectant mothers. In addition to ensuring hospitals provide the best and safest care when urgent needs arise, another goal of this work is to learn more about what it takes to improve the experience of birth, particularly for women of color. We are committed to partnering with birth equity leaders on that learning journey.”
Merck for Mothers is Merck’s 10-year, $500 million initiative to help create a world where no woman dies giving life. Since it began in 2011, the program has expanded to more than 30 countries (outside of the US and Canada, it is known as MSD for Mothers), potentially reaching 6 million women, and specifically focusing on better access to quality maternal care and family planning services.
“IHI offers a track record of successful collaboration and coalition building in maternal health and safety,” said Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers. “Building on our previous support of large-scale quality improvement efforts, this project offers the opportunity to foster partnerships with clinicians and organizations and to make a strong impact to turn the tide on maternal death and complication rates here in the US.”
About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
IHI is a leader in health and health care improvement worldwide. For more than 25 years, IHI has partnered with visionaries, leaders, and frontline practitioners around the globe to spark bold, inventive ways to improve the health of individuals and populations. Recognized as an innovator, convener, trustworthy partner, and driver of results, IHI is the first place to turn for expertise, help, and encouragement for anyone, anywhere who wants to change health and health care profoundly for the better. Learn more at ihi.org.