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Perinatal Quality Collaboratives

image of a team of doctors with parents holding their infant

About Perinatal Quality Collaboratives

Perinatal quality collaboratives (PQCs) are state or multi-state networks of teams working to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies. PQC members identify health care processes that need to be improved and use the best available methods to make changes as quickly as possible.

PQCs have contributed to important improvements in health care and outcomes for mothers and babies, including:

  • Reductions in deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy without a medical reason.
  • Reductions in health care–associated bloodstream infections in newborns.
  • Improvements in appropriate use of antenatal corticosteroids, a medication that helps a developing baby’s lungs to mature.

State-based PQCs

Many states currently have active collaboratives, and others are in development. Visit State Perinatal Quality Collaboratives to view a list of state-based PQCs.

CDC is currently providing support for state-based PQCs in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio. Funding supports the capabilities of PQCs to improve the quality of perinatal care in their states, including efforts to:

  • Reduce complications due to high blood pressure during pregnancy.
  • Improve care for babies with complications due to maternal substance abuse.
  • Improve the use of progesterone treatment to reduce preterm birth.
  • Improve the accuracy and timeliness of birth certificate data. Birth certificate data can be used to measure and guide improvement activities and document changes in population health over time.

National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives

The National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC), sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the March of Dimes, supports state-based PQCs in making measureable improvements in statewide health care and health outcomes for mothers and babies. In November 2016, national experts and representatives from 48 states and over 20 private and federal partner organizations gathered in Fort Worth, Texas for the first-ever meeting of the NNPQC. Over 170 participants networked and shared best practices to improve outcomes for mothers and babies that can be implemented in their states. The NNPQC will serve as a resource for PQCs across the country by strengthening leadership; sharing best practices, challenges, and successes; and developing tools.

CDC's PQC Resource Guide

Developing and Sustaining Perinatal Quality Collaboratives – A Resource Guide for States [PDF – 566KB]

the CDC - PQC banner

CDC recognizes the value that PQCs can bring to improving health for mothers and babies and worked with experts to develop a resource guide to help develop and advance the work of state PQCs. Topics in the guide include starting a statewide collaborative, launching initiatives, data and measurement, sustainability, and more. This guide is an online resource that includes links to other useful resources for perinatal quality improvement work. 

Success Stories

The success stories below detail the perinatal quality improvement work supported by CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health.

PQC Webinar Series

In partnership with CDC-funded collaboratives, CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health hosts regular Webinars that allow PQCs to share strategies related to their development as well as specific perinatal quality improvement initiatives. These Webinars are available to participants in all states. To receive updates about future Webinars, sign up for e-mail updates by entering your information in the box on this page entitled, “Get e-mail updates“. Recordings of previous Webinars are archived and available for viewing.

As of May 2014, you may receive free continuing education for watching the CDC – Perinatal Quality Collaboratives Webinars. All continuing education is issued online through the CDC/ATSDR Training & Continuing Education Online system.

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Learn More About PQCs

Public Health Grand Rounds Image of welcoming hands

CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly webcast created to foster discussion on major public health issues. The November 2015 session, Public Health Strategies to Prevent Preterm Birth, discusses how collaborative efforts to improve surveillance data, better medical care and prevention, and stronger public health partnerships, can accelerate progress in reducing preterm births and improving outcomes for newborns. View the archived presentation and Beyond the Data video.

CDC Expert Commentary on Medscape: Reducing the C-section Rate CDC Expert Commentary on Medscape: Reducing the C-section Rate

Dr. Wanda Barfield, MD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health, highlights the CDC PQC project in this video about the need to keep the rate of cesarean section going in the right direction. View video.


The following article discusses CDC-supported perinatal quality improvement activities in California, New York, and Ohio. You may view the abstract for this article using the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubMed service. Reference:Henderson ZT, Suchdev DB, Abe K, Johnston EO, Callaghan WM. Perinatal quality collaboratives: improving care for mothers and infants. J Womens Health. 2014;23(5):368-372.

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