3 New Jersey hospitals' plan to improve patient experience during labor and delivery

Two hospitals that are part of West Orange, N.J.-based RWJBarnabas Health and Virtua Voorhees Hospital in Voorhees Township, N.J., have adopted a national model focused on shared decision making to improve patient outcomes and experience during the birthing process. 

RWJBarnabas Health's Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch; Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston; and Virtua Voorhees Hospital have each launched the TeamBirth model, the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute said Sept. 12. 

Three notes about the model: 

1. TeamBirth is a "structured method" meant to enhance communication between the clinical team and the person giving birth. Central to the model is a shared whiteboard in all labor and delivery rooms that functions as an "ongoing shared reference" for the team — including patients — to keep track of care plans and progress of the mother and infant. 

2. The model was developed by Ariadne Labs. It's a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, both based in Boston. A trial run by Ariadne Labs showed 90 percent of clinicians said they would recommend TeamBirth, and nearly 80 percent of patients said their preferences made a difference in their care when the model was used. 

3. The model has been adopted by more than 60 U.S. hospitals, involving more than 1,500 clinicians, and 67,000 mothers and babies. 

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