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National Quality Forum Endorses National Consensus Standards for Perinatal Care
Date:10/28/2008

New NQF-endorsed measures can improve quality of care for mothers and babies

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recognizing the importance of quality healthcare for mothers and newborns the National Quality Forum endorsed 17 perinatal standards to measure and thereby improve care received by mothers and babies during the third trimester of pregnancy through hospital discharge. Consensus standards improve quality of care by standardizing measurement in care settings and encouraging accountability and public reporting.

NQF was guided in its endorsement of these perinatal care measures by nearly 300 comments from NQF members and the public.

Pregnancy, childbirth and care for newborns is the most common reason for hospital admission, and childbirth-related procedures account for the five most common procedures in patients aged 18-44. Poor quality care during the third trimester, labor and delivery, and during the post-partum period can translate into unnecessary complications, prolonged hospital stays, and costly intensive care admissions.

"Without appropriate information about hospital performance at a national level, perinatal quality improvement efforts have been unfocused and incentives for improvement limited," said NQF president and CEO Janet Corrigan. "There have been relatively few standardized measures in the field of perinatal care to assess and publicly report on the safety and quality of care. As evidenced by the record-breaking number of comments NQF received during the endorsement process, there was an enormous need for more standardized consensus standards in this area. A more complete set of NQF-endorsed(TM) perinatal performance measures will provide the necessary tools for a unified national approach to quality improvement for mothers and babies."

The newly NQF-endorsed measures are patient-focused and address care provided by individual clinicians such as nurses, doctors, and midwives, both in hosp
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SOURCE National Quality Forum
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