Cooper University Health Care participating in HHS Perinatal Improvement Collaborative

Effort aims to improve outcomes for mothers and babies across the nation.

Cooper University Health Care is participating in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Perinatal Improvement Collaborative, which strives to address troubling disparities in birth outcomes and examine how care might be reliably tailored to mothers with different needs.

The collaborative of 200-plus leading hospitals is overseen by the HHS Office on Women’s Health, using real-time data, analytics and performance improvement methodologies from Premier Inc.

“As a regional perinatal center and leading academic health system, Cooper University Health Care is privileged to take part in this important national collaborative,” said Dr. Robin Perry, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cooper and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

“Cooper has always been committed to providing safe, quality care to the patients we serve, and this study aligns with our efforts to identify and reduce the risks that often lead to maternal and infant deaths,” Perry continued.

The HHS Perinatal Improvement Collaborative will test interventions and protocols to reduce preventable deaths and complications among mothers and their babies. Using Premier’s comprehensive and timely PINC AI Healthcare Database, a standardized data collection system, the program will be able to quickly generate solutions for safer obstetric and neonatal care that can be implemented nationwide. The health equity effort will include:

  • Reliable and timely data: Up-to-date standardized data used by the collaborative will integrate administrative, quality and safety, cost and utilization, electronic health record and social determinants data across settings, including linking mothers’ and infants’ records. This integrated data will help paint a complete picture of the patient and circumstances surrounding clinical care to improve measurement and comparisons across geographies and populations.
  • Broader lens: The collaborative will investigate the outcomes of mothers and babies individually, as well as the collectively, to understand how outcomes between the two are directly linked. Linking the inpatient data of newborns to their mothers will provide an opportunity to identify whether the direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality increase a newborn’s risk of lifelong morbidity and mortality. It will also identify existing health risks in women, or those risks resulting from pregnancy, to prevent negative health impacts for both women and their babies. This comprehensive approach will help to improve data quality and enhance evaluation and research of pregnancy on overall population health.
  • Identify disparities: This collaborative aims to identifying social determinants of health and uncover strategies to reduce racial, ethnic and geographic disparities in care for mothers and babies most susceptible to poor health outcomes.

“Maternal health is an important indicator for infant health,” said Dr. Dorothy Fink, deputy assistant secretary for women’s health and director, Office on Women’s Health. “If we can standardize quality care for women during pregnancy and after giving birth, we can change the current trajectory of maternal and infant death. When mothers have better health, we create better opportunities for infants and the larger community to have better health.”

The effort will be guided by an external advisory panel comprising more than 20 expert clinicians and thought leaders, and patient partners from MoMMA’s Voices, a coalition of advocacy organizations focused on leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity.