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Experts to review quality improvement programs to prevent preterm birth
Date:9/25/2009

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., SEPT. 25, 2009 Journalists are invited to attend a gathering of the nation's leading maternal-child and quality assurance health care experts who will review and develop programs that may help lower the nation's costly preterm birth rate.

The symposium, which will be held Oct. 8 and 9 in Arlington, Virginia, is a collaborative project of the March of Dimes, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Nurse-Midwives, and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. Attendees will review existing programs developed by state officials, health systems, health insurers, hospitals and clinicians, that successfully lower cesarean section and induction rates and improve care and services for pregnant women and babies. Some of the highlighted programs will be:

  • Intermountain Health Program, Salt Lake City, Utah, which reduced its elective c-sections to less than 5 percent from more than 30 percent.
  • Hospital Corporation of America, Nashville, Tenn., which delivers about 5 percent of all U.S. births, implemented an integrated quality improvement program in the 21 states it serves, and reduced the primary c-section rate, lowered maternal and fetal injuries and reduced the cost of obstetric malpractice claims 500 percent.
  • Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa., developed an electronic health record to ensure pregnant women are screened for chronic conditions and risk factors that can be treated proactively, lowering the risk of preterm birth and other complications.

Preterm birth is a serious and costly health problem, and is the leading cause of death in the first month of life in this country. More than 540,000 babies one out of every eight are born too soon each year in the United States, and the rate has increased more than 20 percent in nearly 20 years. Babies who survive an early birth face serious ri
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Contact: Elizabeth Lynch
elynch@marchofdimes.com
914-997-4286
March of Dimes Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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