Perinatal cooperatives have been established in other states as a quality assurance mechanism that enhances the communication and collaboration across birth hospitals. This structure, with buy-in from organization leadership, has the potential to impact the delivery of care and provider practices.
Delaware’s infant mortality rate of 8.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births (2004-2008) is one of the highest in the nation and is due in large part to low birth weight/prematurity.
Clinical best practices, such as antenatal steroid use, have the potential to reduce low birth weight/premature deliveries.
The Delaware Perinatal Cooperative is established under the umbrella of the Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium (DHMIC), which serves as the statewide Maternal and Child Health Coalition and would intersect with the DHMIC Standards of Care Committee (Figure 1). The Perinatal Cooperative Advisory Board is composed of representatives from birth hospitals. A Medical Director and Perinatal Education Coordinator are tasked with oversight, education, and technical assistance. The Division of Public Health, Center for Family Health Research and Epidemiology, receives and reports on selected data indicators.
Member organizations agree to collect and report specific data elements relevant to the clinical priorities selected by the Board. For example, if a priority selected were the use of antenatal steroids for those at risk of preterm delivery, organizations would report the use of steroids and birth outcomes. The Division of Public Health will receive, compile and analyze data by site. In a non-punitive manner, data will be shared with members of the Perinatal Cooperative as a component of continuous quality improvement (CQI).
Working collectively with the Standards of Care Committee, the Perinatal Cooperative Advisory Board will determine intervention strategies, review data and implement CQI initiatives to increase adherence to perinatal best practices.
Members of the Perinatal Cooperative will have free access to:
Current data to use for benchmarking and quality assurance/improvement.
Best practices in clinical care through internet-based continuing education and discussion forums.
In-office education and technical assistance through the Perinatal Cooperative Education Coordinator.
Request Form (including, Teen Life Plan, Adult Life Plan, Kicks Count Tootlkit and Pregnant Smokers Tootlkit)
Delaware Maternal Transport Form
Order Set for Preterm Admission (Example)
Management of Patients at Risk for Preterm Delivery
Teen Life Plan
Adult Life Plan
Kicks Count Tracker (English)
Kicks Count Tracker (Español)
Kicks Count Brochure (English and Español)
Kicks Count Poster