Memorial Hospital, Georgia Hospital Association reduce incidence of early elective deliveries

Published 7:12 pm Thursday, December 6, 2012


Director of Public Relations, Memorial Hospital and Manor

Through its work with the Georgia Hospital Association, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the March of Dimes, Memorial Hospital and Manor in Bainbridge has successfully reduced the number of early elective deliveries (EEDs), or medically unnecessary inductions and Cesarean deliveries scheduled before 39 weeks of delivery. Memorial Hospital and Manor’s efforts in this area are part of its participation in the GHA Hospital Engagement Network’s (HEN) Early Elective Delivery (EED) Collaborative.

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According to the March of Dimes, 15 million babies worldwide are born too soon and 1 million of those infants die as a result of their early births. Lifelong health challenges, such as cerebral palsy and learning disabilities, often are risks for babies who survive early births. Research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the United States Food and Drug Administration found that the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy compared to babies born at 40 weeks.

In addition to reduction of EEDs, the goals of GHA’s EED Collaborative are to improve overall health of the mother and baby; decrease cost by avoiding co-morbidities associated with EEDs; and increase the quality of care the mother and baby receive.

“Eliminating medically unnecessary early deliveries ensures the improved health of newborns,” said GHA President Joseph Parker. “We applaud the work of Memorial Hospital and Manor as they endeavor to make strides in reducing the occurrence of EEDs.”

Using a rapid cycle improvement process and a March of Dimes toolkit, Memorial Hospital and Manor was able to significantly reduce the number of EEDs by 7.5 percent to meet an outstanding goal of no early elective deliveries. Overall, hospitals reduced the occurrence of EEDs from 8.83 percent in March 2012 to 3.58 percent in August 2012, representing a 57-percent decrease.