Just-released data from TeamBirth’s first year in New Jersey show overwhelmingly positive results among people giving birth under this model of care, designed to promote better provider and patient communication during the birthing experience.
The data come from 500 patient surveys collected from Sept. 1, 2022, through Aug. 14 at the New Jersey hospitals and birthing centers using the TeamBirth initiative. Data collection will continue through the rest of this year and most of 2024.
The data found that patients at hospitals or birthing centers using TeamBirth felt more involved with their care:
- 86% felt involved in decision-making;
- 87% felt informed about options for their care;
- 89% felt they understood information given to them; and
- 92% felt their choice was respected.
In contrast, scores were lower for those who did not experience TeamBirth, ranging from 55% to 73% for the same questions. When stratified by race and ethnicity, the data highlight large disparities in care for people giving birth who did not experience TeamBirth. For instance, preliminary data found that 29% of Asian patients reported feeling involved in decision-making, followed by 45% of Black/African American patients.
With TeamBirth, all patients felt more involved in their care, increasing to 94% for Asian patients and 85% for Black/African American patients, with similar findings for Non-Hispanic White and Hispanic patients.
The TeamBirth model involves ongoing team huddles and other tools used during labor and delivery, such as whiteboards and decision guides. Every huddle includes the person giving birth, their chosen support people, such as a partner, doula or both, their nurse and at least one provider, such as a physician or midwife, from the clinical care team.
“We know failures in communication often are the cause of maternal injuries and deaths. We want TeamBirth to enable all people giving birth to become participants in their care — and not merely a recipient of care,” Adelisa Perez-Hudgins, director of quality at the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute said.
Under the TeamBirth model, team members discuss personal and cultural preferences and concerns. 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 New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in Princeton, in partnership with Ariadne Labs, is leading the initiative in New Jersey. Ariadne Labs is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The New Jersey Department of Health provided funding and is a partner in the rigorously tested, innovative model of care.
Last month, Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, and Virtua Mount Holly Hospital launched the TeamBirth initiative. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick is expected to launch TeamBirth in the next few months. Three additional hospitals are expected to launch next year. Four New Jersey birthing facilities began using the model in September 2022: Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, Virtua’s Midwifery Birth & Wellness Center, Monmouth Medical Center and Virtua Voorhees.
TeamBirth now has been implemented in more than 100 hospitals around the country, collectively reaching more than 400,000 mothers and babies.