By Deborah Kilday, MSN, Principal, Women and Infants Service Line, Premier Inc.
Premier is proud to mark Black Maternal Health Week, which draws attention to the urgent need to eliminate disparities in maternal-infant health and make America a safer place for Black women to give birth. We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration’s strong focus on maternal care for Black women and for taking steps to help close care gaps that contribute to disparities.
The lack of standardized outcome measurement and collection of complete, actionable data on maternal mortality and morbidity has been a persistent obstacle to reversing poor maternal-infant health trends in the US. Premier is passionate about getting to the bottom of why disparate outcomes occur and, from there, identifying and scaling proven practices to improve maternal-infant care across hospitals nationwide.
Through our partnership with the HHS Office of Women’s Health, we are doing just that. Premier is leveraging data representing 25 percent of all U.S. births to gain a clearer picture of what is driving deaths and harm to new mothers and newborns. Our latest analysis found that maternal mortality in the hospital, at the time of delivery, declined by 55 percent for Black women. While this is a positive development, the substantial rise in maternal morbidity is likely a key contributor to the increase in maternal mortality occurring after leaving the hospital as shown in CDC data. Armed with these insights, Premier is working with OWH, MoMMA's Voices and the National Birth Equity Collaborative to shed light on the source of the problem so that our nation can make healthcare safe and equitable for all new mothers.