Future Midwifery Data Collection
ACNM strongly supports the use of quality measurement and reporting to improve care. Reliable data is increasingly imperative for ACNM to showcase the excellent outcomes that CNMs and CMs achieve and to leverage new opportunities in our transforming health care system.
For many years, we have debated the relative merits and limitations of ACNM investment in research-quality data collection about midwifery care vs. support for aggregate reporting on quality measures. To help us plot our way forward, in 2013, the ACNM Board of Directors commissioned a technical analysis of ACNM’s role in facilitating patient-level and/or aggregate quality data by CNMs and CMs. Click here to read the full report presented to the ACNM Board of Directors in September 2013, or an Executive Summary of the Plan.
In September 2013, the ACNM Board of Directors committed to providing strategic funding in 2014 to begin to implement the technical development plan. We are also thrilled to announce that ACNM’s 2014 funding commitment was matched by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).
The initial goal of this project is to enhance collection of key quality data by CNMs and CMs, building on ACNM’s successful Benchmarking Project. ACNM’s technical partner for this project is Maternity Neighborhood, a company that specializes in digital technology for maternity care providers, researchers, and childbearing women. Maternity Neighborhood has also partnered with other midwifery-related organizations in the US, Canada, and in the United Kingdom, which ACNM wholeheartedly supports in the interest of fostering enhanced midwifery data collection in a standardized manner.
Achieving the vision of the 2013 Technical Development Strategy will be a long-term, multi-year endeavor. We expect the project to continue to evolve based on the changing landscape and the ability to leverage other projects undertaken on the Maternity Neighborhood platform, which complement our project and help to reduce our overall cost, while also enhancing interoperability between midwifery data collection systems. We are committed to ensuring that CNMs and CMs can participate in this project regardless of what electronic health record system they use, or whether they are currently participating in another midwifery data collection system, such as the AABC Perinatal Data Registry or MANAStats.
The resulting project will facilitate quality improvement among maternity care providers and across all birth settings based on the standardized collection of perinatal data. In addition to funds committed by ACNM and AMCB, ACNM has also received a grant from the Transforming Birth Fund. This grant will be used to lead a multi-stakeholder process to bring clarity to data definitions related to collaborative maternity care. We believe that standard definitions for various domains of midwifery care and interdisciplinary collaboration will strengthen the ongoing data collection activities of all U.S. midwifery organizations. It would also foster better data collection by hospitals, health systems, government agencies, researchers, and other stakeholders working to measure and improve the quality, outcomes, and value of U.S. maternity care.
ACNM also continues to participate in the ACOG-convened Women’s Health Registry Alliance and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s Obstetric Health Information Initiative to collaborate with other women’s health organizations when possible on data collection.