The economic impact of poor perinatal outcomes and ways to address them in West Virginia has been a major focus of the Partnership. The First Baby Initiative has been one of the major initiatives to provide quality care and contain costs. The Partnership collaborated with the West Virginia Health Care Authority, March of Dimes-West Virginia Chapter, and 23 West Virginia hospitals on this project to improve health outcomes of first-time mothers and their babies by reducing the number of Cesarean sections. With funding from the Health Care Authority, the project took place between April 2011 and December 2012. Click here to review the report which details the project activities, findings, and recommendations for future steps.
The Partnership has recently become involved in the efforts of the Choosing Wisely campaign. An initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, Choosing Wisely is working to spark conversations between providers and patients to ensure the right care is delivered at the right time. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) are partners in the campaign and are drawing national attention to the overuse and misuse of induction of labor:
- Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor or cesarean deliveries before 39 weeks 0 days gestational age.
- Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor between 39 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 0 days unless the cervix is deemed favorable. (“Favorable” means the cervix is already thinned out and beginning to dilate, and the baby is settling into the pelvis. Another word for this is “ripe,” and doctors and midwives use a tool called the Bishop Score to give an objective measurement of ripeness. Although ACOG and AAFP do not define “favorable,” studies show cesarean risk is elevated with a Bishop Score of 8 or lower in a woman having her first birth and 6 or lower in women who have already given birth vaginally.)
For more information, click here.
Amy Tolliver, M.S., Director
West Virginia Perinatal Partnership
(304) 558-0530 ext. 5
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