Submitted by Providence Swedish
Providence St. Peter and Centralia hospitals have launched a new initiative called TeamBirth to enhance the birthing experience and improve outcomes for patients and their babies.
TeamBirth focuses on collective communication, so all people involved – the patient, their support person and their care team – share the same understanding throughout the process. TeamBirth provides an even safer, more dignified childbirth experience.
“Research tells us that effective communication between a care team and their patients is key to safe childbirth,” said Val Higginbotham, Providence women’s and children’s service line director. “We have always worked to communicate well with our patients, but we have quickly learned how effective this model can be to improve both communication and birth outcomes.”
A central component of the TeamBirth model is a shared whiteboard located in all labor and delivery rooms that outlines care plans and progress for the patient and the baby. The care team and patient complete the whiteboard together and update it regularly. Some examples of elements listed on the whiteboard include the patient’s pain management preferences, if the patient would like to breastfeed and when the next team huddle will be.
The full care team, the patient and their support person meet throughout labor and delivery to make sure everyone is aware of the patient’s preferences, symptoms, and experiences and to set clear expectations.
“The patients and their babies are why we are here, and they are at the center of what we do,” says Louis Stout, director of women’s and children’s services at Providence St. Peter and Centralia Hospitals. “This new model enhances communications with the entire birthing team, the patient, and their support person, reminding everyone that the patient is the decisionmaker, and any decision can be changed at any time.”
Ariadne Labs developed and rigorously tested the TeamBirth model as part of its Delivery Decisions Initiative, a research and social impact program focused on transforming childbirth care around the world. TeamBirth has been implemented in more than 100 hospitals across the U.S. and in Sweden. St. Peter and Centralia hospitals are among a group of hospitals launching the program supported by the Washington State Hospital Association.
“All people who give birth deserve to have a safe, dignified experience. TeamBirth is an evidence-based approach to turn this vision into a reality,” said Amber Weiseth, DNP, MSN, RNC-OB, director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs. “We are excited to collaborate with Providence to ensure that the patient voice is central to all decisions in labor and delivery. We hope to see this model continue to spread to ensure the best possible care experience for every patient, everywhere.”