TeamBirth Initiative Launches at Valley with Goal to Improve Safety and Quality Outcomes

TeamBirth Initiative Launches at Valley with Goal to Improve Safety and Quality Outcomes

Valley is working to address maternal health disparities and improve outcomes by facilitating collaboration between patients and caregivers in the TeamBirth initiative.

What is TeamBirth?

TeamBirth was developed by Ariadne Labs, which is a center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The Ariadne Labs Delivery Decisions Initiative is a research and social impact program focused on transforming childbirth care around the world so that every person can start or grow their family with dignity. The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) is working with all birthing hospitals in Washington state to implement the TeamBirth model by the end of 2025, which aims to improve safety and quality outcomes related to childbirth. All people who give birth deserve to have a safe, dignified experience and TeamBirth is an evidence-based approach to turning this vision into a reality. 

“We recognize that gaps in our care still exist,” said Lisa Hewson, Manager of Valley’s Birth Center. “We recognize that women today are 50 percent more likely to die in childbirth than their own mothers were. These disparities are amplified even more in our black and native populations. We recognize that there is a problem in the way we deliver care and that we can do better.  We recognize that there are often failures in communication between providers and the patients that we serve. TeamBirth gives us the tools to help break down those barriers, establish trust with our patients, and close those equality gaps through the standardization of team huddles and shared planning and move our patients to the center of the decision-making process. Because all pregnant people deserve to have a safe and dignified birth.”

Let’s Huddle!

TeamBirth launched at Valley on April 25, marking the start of a new way of care for our birthing patients. By utilizing shared planning boards, care team huddles, and standardized discussion guides, we can ensure that the care team understands the patient’s preferences and is able to establish clear expectations for the birth hospitalization. 

Plan-of-care huddles are the foundation to the TeamBirth model. All members of the care team meet with the birthing patient and their support person upon admission to the labor and delivery unit and at regular intervals during their hospitalization. During a huddle, the shared planning board in the patient room is updated with members of the care team, the patient’s preferences and progress, and the next agreed check-in.

“I believe that we already provide excellent and compassionate care for birthing patients at Valley Medical Center and the implementation of TeamBirth is going to help us get even better,” said Theresa Hamer, MD, FACOG, Medical Director of Obstetric Services. “The TeamBirth boards and huddles are simple but powerful tools that will assist us in providing patient centered and informed care to every patient at every interaction in labor and delivery.”

As part of the TeamBirth program, our inpatient quality improvement specialist is stratifying labor and delivery data by race, comparing the NTSV (nulliparous, term, singleton, vertex) cesarian birth rate of patients and examining any disparities to develop strategies to mitigate them. With this initiative we can begin to address inequities in our care. 

“Our mission is to care for our community like family, and it is this community- based, patient centric mission, that defines and distinguishes our hospital district from other healthcare entities,” said Theresa Braungardt, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services.

Learn more about TeamBirth on the Washington State Hospital Association website.

Pictured: Valley staff and providers at a celebration for the launch of TeamBirth.

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Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office