SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mercy Medical Center has launched TeamBirth, a new initiative designed to enhance the birthing experience and improve outcomes for women and babies. TeamBirth closes communication gaps that challenge safety and dignity during birth.

Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA developed the program.

“At Mercy Medical Center, we want every woman giving birth and the clinicians who care for them to feel empowered to participate in decisions made during labor and delivery,” said Robert Roose, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Administrative Officer, Mercy Medical Center, and Johnson Memorial Hospital. “TeamBirth will move us closer to that goal by fostering teamwork and communication among physicians, midwives, nurses, staff, and the woman giving birth so that our patients are heard and supported from the moment they walk into the Family Life Center.”

According to Joint Commission Resources, up to 90 percent of preventable injuries during childbirth are caused by failures in communication between providers and patients. In order to reduce these communication gaps, TeamBirth was developed to ensure that people giving birth and their clinicians have shared input and understanding during labor and delivery.  

In all labor and delivery rooms, there is a shared whiteboard that serves as an ongoing shared reference for the team to outline care plans and progress for the baby and the patient. During labor and delivery, the full care team, including the person giving birth and their support person, meets frequently in huddles to ensure everyone is aware of the patient’s preferences, symptoms, and experiences.

Ariadne Labs developed TeamBirth as part of its Delivery Decisions Initiative, a research and social impact program focused on transforming childbirth care. As mentioned in a news release from Mercy Medical Center, ninety percent of clinicians recommended TeamBirth and nearly 80 percent of patients said their preferences affected their care.

“All people who give birth deserve to have a safe, dignified experience. TeamBirth is an evidence-based approach to turn this vision into a reality,” said Amber Weiseth, DNP, MSN, RNC-OB, Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs. “We are excited to collaborate with Mercy Medical Center to ensure that the patient voice is central to all decisions in labor and delivery. We hope to see this model continue to spread to ensure the best possible care experience for every patient, everywhere.”  

It has been implemented in more than 16 health systems around the country, involving more than 1,500 clinicians and 67,000 mothers and babies.