New “Playbook” Aims to Eliminate Early Elective Deliveries
Nation’s Leading Experts Produce Tool for Hospitals, Health Systems, Policymakers to Help End Practice That is Linked to Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality
Washington, DC — Greater awareness among parents and providers of the dangers of choosing to have babies before they are full term has decreased the practice in the United States, but in some areas of the country, early elective deliveries (EEDs) still occur too frequently. A phenomenon of the last 20 years, EED is defined as delivery before 39 weeks without medical or obstetrical indication. It is linked to neonatal morbidity and mortality, and offers no benefit to mothers or infants. Leading professional organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have called for an end to EED, and The Leapfrog Group has documented a decrease among the 1,740 hospitals that participate in its survey, from 17 percent of deliveries in 2010 to 4.6 percent in 2013 — but it still occurs in some hospitals and areas of the country.
In response, the National Quality Forum (NQF) convened a Maternity Action Team that has produced a new Playbook for the Successful Elimination of Early Elective Deliveries. NQF’s Maternity Action Team consists of 24 leading experts. It is co-chaired by Maureen Corry, senior advisor for Childbirth Connection Programs at the National Partnership for Women & Families, and Elliott Main, MD, medical director of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. Continue>
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