Mercy Medical Center Launches TeamBirth
SPRINGFIELD — Mercy Medical Center announced the launch of TeamBirth, a new initiative to enhance the birthing experience and improve outcomes for people giving birth and their babies.
TeamBirth is a communication and teamwork process that closes gaps in communication that challenge the safety and dignity of people giving birth. It was developed by Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health-systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
“At Mercy Medical Center, we want every woman giving birth and the clinicians who care for them to feel empowered to participate in decisions made during labor and delivery,” said Dr. Robert Roose, chief administrative officer at Mercy Medical Center and Johnson Memorial Hospital. “TeamBirth will move us closer to that goal by fostering teamwork and communication among physicians, midwives, nurses, staff, and the woman giving birth so that our patients are heard and supported from the moment they walk into the Family Life Center.”
Research indicates that failures in communication between providers and between providers and patients account for up to 90% of preventable injuries during childbirth.
TeamBirth was developed to address these gaps in communication to ensure that people giving birth and the clinicians who are caring for them have shared input and understanding into decisions during labor and delivery.
A central component of the TeamBirth model is a shared whiteboard located in all labor and delivery rooms to outline care plans and progress for the patient and the baby that serves as an ongoing shared reference for the team. The full care team, of which the person giving birth and their support person are an integral part, meet frequently throughout labor and delivery in huddles to make sure all parties are aware of the patient’s preferences, symptoms, and experiences and to set clear expectations.
The TeamBirth model was developed and rigorously tested by Ariadne Labs as part of its Delivery Decisions Initiative, a research and social-impact program focused on transforming childbirth care around the world. In one TeamBirth trial, 90% of the clinicians said they would recommend TeamBirth, and nearly 80% of patients said their preferences made a difference in the care they received.
“All people who give birth deserve to have a safe, dignified experience; TeamBirth is an evidence-based approach to turn this vision into a reality,” said Amber Weiseth, director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs. “We are excited to collaborate with Mercy Medical Center to ensure that the patient voice is central to all decisions in labor and delivery. We hope to see this model continue to spread to ensure the best possible care experience for every patient, everywhere.”
TeamBirth now has been implemented in more than 16 health systems around the country, collectively involving more than 1,500 clinicians and more than 67,000 mothers and babies.