Making women and families our maternity care system’s “unwavering focus and fully-engaged agents for change”
The prosperity of a nation is tied fundamentally to the health and well-being of its citizens. It follows, then, that citizens—each one a past, current, or future patient—should represent both the healthcare system’s unwavering focus, and its fully engaged agents for change.
This passage begins the new report from the Institute of Medicine’s Learning Health System Series, Patients Charting the Course: Citizen Engagement in the Learning Health System. This report builds on themes addressed in the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report, Crossing the Quality Chasm, which also formed the foundation for the Transforming Maternity Care 2020 Vision. In defining woman-centered care, the 2020 Vision Report acknowledges:
- Pregnancy and birth are unique for each woman.
- To promote positive maternity care experiences, care teams engage in high-quality relationships with women and their families, based on mutual respect and trust.
- Caregivers and settings have a powerful effect on childbearing women.
In honor of Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month, we have collected some resources to help make maternity care more woman- and family-centered and engage maternity care consumers in system transformation.
- Expectant mothers can become more informed and engaged by visiting our resources for Women and Families at ChildbirthConnection.org. We recommend starting with Understanding and Navigating the Maternity Care System. More resources are in the pipeline through our Shared Decision Making Maternity Initiative.
- Women and families who want to bring it to the “next level” and turn their consumer experience into activism can visit our Consumer Advocates Action Center.
- Providers and hospitals that want to provide more patient-centered care have many resources to choose from in our inventory of patient- and family-centered care toolkits that may be applied to maternity care. Providers can also enroll in a new course from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Open School on Patient- and Family-Centered Care, titled Dignity and Respect.
- There are also toolkits for consumer outreach and engagement
- In the TMC Directory, find improvement projects based on the strategies of consumer advocacy, shared decision making, and community education/outreach.