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A Vision for Women

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      Aim

      To provide a contemporary, evidence based and consumer driven maternity service that ensures each woman achieves her optimal outcome.

      Description

      Australian healthcare services measure the quality of their maternity care via clinical outcomes e.g. Perinatal statistics, Healthcare Acquired Conditions (HAC’s) and Clinical Indicators. The increasingly broad variation in maternal demographics between health services Australia wide make accurate benchmarking difficult e.g. rates of obesity, assisted fertility, maternal age >35 years and poor education and socio economic status. A Tertiary maternity service in NSW reviewed how women Australia wide measure their healthcare during pregnancy, labour and birth. The search identified that the factors that are important to women do not correlate with the priorities of health care services. The maternity service responded by reviewing how it would provide maternity care through a different lens. Core business was no longer ‘4000 births’ per annum but became the creation of ‘4000 mothers’ per annum. The team ensured that the evidence based strategies that impact physical birth outcomes were in place and aligned with evidence e.g. models of care, medical and non-medical interventions and provision of information. However a new approach saw the hospital team aligned in their language, energy and actions when interacting with the woman. This approach brought a new philosophy and energy to the team, impacting the emotional outcome for each woman following her birth experience.

      Rationale

      Obstetric interventions have been increasing nationwide for a number of decades with no demonstrated improvement in outcomes and in some cases a deterioration e.g. increasing rates of postpartum haemorrhage. An alternate strategy was required that would engage both women, medical and midwifery clinicians and optimise each woman’s pregnancy and birth outcome.

      Implications

      A multidisciplinary hospital team aligned in their vision and belief resulting in the creation of strong and confident mothers…. ‘this is the moment I dreamed about’.
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