Many points of transition across phases of the maternity cycle present opportunities for communication failure and adverse events. Financial incentives discourage optimal care coordination, and the vision of engaged and empowered childbearing women and families at the ‘‘center’’ of well-coordinated maternity care is largely unrealized at present. Health professionals and systems lack tools to foster good coordination, such as interoperable health IT systems. Care that is coordinated around the needs and preferences of childbearing women and families has the potential to improve health outcomes and value for payors.
Major Recommendations and Action Steps
- Extend the health care home model to the full episode of maternity care to ensure that every childbearing woman has access to a Woman and Family-Centered Maternity Care Home that fosters care coordination.
- Develop local and regional collaborative quality improvement initiatives to improve clinical coordination at the community level.
- Develop consensus standards for appropriate care level and risk criteria.
- Support development and use of electronic health records and health information exchange systems that promote active communication among caregivers and facilities, include adequate protections for privacy and security, and put the woman and her family at the ‘‘center.’’
Learn More, Make Change: Resources for Improvement
- Find ongoing projects related to coordination of maternity care.
- Browse our bibliography of studies and reports related to care coordination.