Reversing the Maternal Morbidity Rate Will Mean Understanding How Biases and Discrimination Affect Safety

February 18, 2019 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​If the United States is to reverse its decades-long trend of increased maternal morbidity, safety bundles must be combined with community-focused approaches and an increased understanding of how bias and discrimination affect maternal safety, says the author of a January 2019 Perspective on Safety from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). According to AHRQ, a safety bundle is essential information organized by related topics "to help maternal care teams be ready for, recognize, respond to, and learn from situations that frequently contribute to maternal death and maternal morbidity." The U.S. pregnancy-related mortality ratio more than doubled from 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 18.0 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2014, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data cited by the author, even while maternal mortality has declined in other countries (for more see Physician Practice E-News, November 23, 2016).

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