Five stakeholder workgroups provided the essential bridge from the Vision Team’s “2020 Vision for a High-Quality, High-Value Maternity Care System” to the Steering Committee’s “Blueprint for Action: Steps Toward a High-Quality, High-Value Maternity Care System.” The role of the workgroups was to provide a high level of expertise and specificity about both barriers to achieving the envisioned care and priority strategies for overcoming them. The Steering Committee then drew on the experiences and insights of workgroup members by synthesizing the five reports into a single path-setting “Blueprint for Action.”
How Workgroups Prepared their Reports and Recommendations
Both the project’s initial key informant interviews with national health care quality improvement leaders and innovators and its Steering Committee explored priority areas for innovation and policy focus for achieving greatest strides in quality improvement. As a result, the Steering Committee recommended that all workgroups address in reports and recommendations four common areas:
- performance measurement and leveraging of results
- payment reform to align incentives with quality
- disparities in access and outcomes of maternity care
- improved functioning of the liability system
Each workgroup was also asked to address address two or three additional topics of special significance to their sector, which were drawn from the following areas:
- scope of covered services for maternity care
- coordination of maternity care across time, settings, and disciplines
- clinical controversies (home birth, vaginal birth after cesarean, vaginal breech and twin birth, elective induction, cesarean without indication)
- decision making and consumer choice
- scope, content and availability of health professions education
- workforce composition and distribution
- development and use of health information technology
To assist workgroup members in developing their reports and recommendations, and to help align this work with ongoing health system reform efforts, the project’s SharePoint website provided workgroup members with full text of the key resources for each focal area.
At an invitational multi-stakeholder policy symposium in 2009, workgroup chairs presented their groups’ reports, and invited discussants and audience members provided feedback to strengthen the analysis and recommendations. To benefit from the engagement and expertise of the large, diverse, experienced group of symposium participants, attendees received full confidential drafts of the workgroup papers prior to the meeting, and had the opportunity during a continuing comment period after the meeting to submit feedback through an online process.
Workgroups used the compiled symposium and post-symposium feedback to finalize their reports, and the Steering Committee synthesized the workgroup reports and collected feedback into the direction-setting “Blueprint for Action.”
The reports are rich, insightful and lengthy. They offer a greater level of detail about specific challenges and recommended solutions than the “Blueprint for Action.” Thus, those who are interested in learning more and are considering becoming involved with implementation of Blueprint recommendations are urged to consult the workgroup reports.