This purpose of this project is to strengthen and improve the collaborative efforts between the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Iowa Medical Society (IMS) in maintaining a multidisciplinary Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC). IDPH will identify pregnancy-associated deaths within one year of the death and abstract available data to support multidisciplinary review of each death. The comprehensive de-identified information about all deaths related to pregnancy will be entered into a standard data system [Maternal Mortality Review Information Application (MMRIA)]. Annual reviews of the maternal deaths will be done and summaries of the committee decisions will also be entered into MMRIA within 2 years of the maternal death. All de-identified data entered into MMRIA will be shared with the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Quality assurance processes, in partnership with CDC, will be used for improving data quality, completeness, and timeliness. IDPH and the CDC will analyze data and share findings with a broad range of stakeholders to inform policy and prevention strategies to reduce maternal deaths.
There will be timely, accurate, and standardized data on Iowa’s maternal deaths, those that occur during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and up to one year after the end of the pregnancy. The committee decisions will include, the number of maternal deaths related to pregnancy, the under lying cause of death, contributing factors, and opportunities for prevention. Working with collaborative partners we will increase awareness of the MMRC and broadly share the committee decisions to public groups, health care providers and policy makers.
IDPH will partner with Vital Records on a quality improvement initiative to investigate methods to improve data collected to identify maternal deaths using the pregnancy check boxes on the death certificates. IDPH will monitor severe maternal morbidity rates by level of hospital using data from the hospital discharge file and will issue a summary of findings. In collaboration with our partners we will communicate findings and strategies to reduce maternal complications of pregnancy.
The OB Statewide Task Force will develop a statewide strategy plan to address obstetrical workforce, rural access to obstetrical services, and the best method to achieve statewide implementation of safety bundles and policies that reflect the highest standard maternal care. Though the partnership with the Statewide Perinatal Program, OB Statewide Task Force, Iowa Section of ACOG, Iowa Medical Society, Hospital Association, and public health partners, IDPH will implement MMRC recommendations to reduce maternal complications of pregnancy and reduce disparities in maternal deaths.