Quality Improvement Program Reduces Rate of Elective Early-Term Deliveries

April 17, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Implementation of a process improvement project reduced the rate of elective scheduled singleton early-term deliveries in a group of diverse community and academic hospitals from 27.8% to 4.8%—an 83% decline within one year, according to the results of a study published online April 5, 2013, in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The study, which included a total of 29,030 scheduled singletons at 34 weeks of gestation or more who were delivered in 26 participating hospitals between January 2011 and December 2011, found that elective inductions decreased 72% from 9.5% to 2.7%, and elective cesarean deliveries decreased 84% from 43.5% to 7.1%. In addition, the data indicated that there was no significant change in medically indicated scheduled early-term deliveries and unscheduled early-term deliveries during the program period, no significant change in neonatal intensive care unit admissions among scheduled early-term singletons, and no increase in the term fetal mortality rate.

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