Perinatal Quality Collaboratives

About Perinatal Quality Collaboratives

Perinatal quality collaboratives (PQCs) are state or multi-state networks of teams working to improve the quality of care 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.
  • Reductions in severe pregnancy complications.
image of a team of doctors

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 Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Funding supports the capabilities of PQCs to improve the quality of perinatal care in their states, including efforts to:

  • Reduce preterm births.
  • Reduce severe pregnancy complications associated with high blood pressure and hemorrhage.
  • Improve identification of and care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
  • Reduce racial/ethnic and geographic disparities.
  • Reduce cesarean births among low-risk pregnant women.

CDC and the March of Dimes launched the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC) to support state-based PQCs in making measureable improvements in statewide health care and health outcomes for mothers and babies. In 2017, CDC awarded the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) Externalto serve as the coordinating center for the NNPQC. NICHQ coordinates NNPQC activities, including providing support, mentoring, and resources for PQCs. Learn more about the NNPQC.

Developing and Sustaining Perinatal Quality Collaboratives – A Resource Guide for States Cdc-pdf[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.

The success stories below detail perinatal quality improvement work from state-based PQCs supported by CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health.

In partnership with CDC-funded collaboratives, CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health hosted webinars for PQCs to share strategies related to their development as well as specific perinatal quality improvement initiatives. Recordings of previous webinars are archived and available for viewing. New webinars are provided by the National Network of Perinatal Quality CollaborativesExternal. To find out about future webinars, join your PQC colleagues on the National Network of Perinatal Quality CollaboratoryExternal.

Town Hall Teleconference

After each CDC Vital Signs report is released, the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support hosts a town hall teleconference about the report’s topic. These monthly reports offer recent data and calls to action on important public health topics, and the teleconferences feature lessons learned and success stories from the state, tribal, local, or territorial perspective. The teleconference Safe Sleep for Babies featured Sunah Hwang MD, MPH, who presented on safe sleep quality improvement efforts in neonatal intensive care units in Massachusetts. View the archived presentation slides Cdc-pdf[PDF – 2.7KB] and listen to the presentation audioCdc-media.

Public Health Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds logo

CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly webcast created to foster discussion on major public health issues. The presentation 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.


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 videoExternal.



The following articles discuss CDC-supported perinatal quality improvement activities. You may view the abstracts for these articles using the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubMed service.

  1. Perinatal Quality Collaboratives: Improving Care for Mothers and InfantsExternal.
  2. The National Network of State Perinatal Quality Collaboratives: A Growing Movement to Improve Maternal and Infant HealthExternal.
  3. Statewide Quality Improvement Initiative to Reduce Early Elective Deliveries and Improve Birth Registry AccuracyExternal.
  4. State-Based Perinatal Quality Collaboratives: Pursuing Improvements in Perinatal Health Outcomes for All Mothers and NewbornsExternal.
  5. Using a State Birth Registry as a Quality Improvement ToolExternal.
  6. A Statewide Progestogen Promotion Program in OhioExternal.
  7. The Hard Work of Improving Outcomes for Mothers and Babies: Obstetric and Perinatal Quality Improvement Initiatives Make a Difference at the Hospital, State, and National LevelsExternal.
  8. Reduction of Severe Maternal Morbidity from Hemorrhage Using a State Perinatal Quality CollaborativeExternal.
  9. A Statewide Quality Improvement Initiative to Reduce Non-Medically Indicated Scheduled DeliveriesExternal.