Maternal mortality is a concerning public health problem in the United States. About 700 women die every year due to pregnancy-related complications. Although rare, these deaths are particularly tragic because an estimated two thirds of deaths could be prevented.
As a healthcare provider, you play a critical role in eliminating preventable maternal mortality. One part of the solution is to really hear women’s concerns during and after pregnancy and engage in an open conversation to make sure any issues are adequately addressed.
Listen to pregnant and postpartum women if they experience concerns. Help your patients understand the urgent maternal warning signs and the need to seek medical attention right away. When patients are engaged in their health care, it can lead to improvements in safety and quality. Take steps to make them feel understood and valued during their visit with you.
What Can You Do?
- Communicate with patients about urgent maternal warning signs.
- Help patients manage chronic conditions or conditions that arise during pregnancy.
- Get involved with the Every mom. Every time.external icon public awareness campaign through the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
- Complete the POST-BIRTH Warning Signs Education Programexternal icon developed by the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN).
- Find out about the maternal safety bundlesexternal icon developed by the Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care.
- Download the Maternal Early Warning Signs protocolexternal icon.
- Explore the Toolkit for Improving Perinatal Safetyexternal icon that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed.
- Review AHRQ’s Guide to Patient and Family Engagement in Hospital Quality and Safety.external icon
- Visit the Review to Action websiteexternal icon to learn more about local efforts to assess the causes and contributors behind every maternal death.