Skip to Content

Published on November 08, 2021

Cone Health Joins National Effort to Improve Care of Mothers and Babies

The effort aims to make America a much safer place for childbirth.



The Cone Health Women’s & Children’s Center is participating in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Perinatal Improvement Collaborative. The project involves more than 200 leading hospitals caring for diverse populations in all 50 states. The collaborative is overseen by the HHS Office on Women’s Health using real-time data, analytics and performance improvement methodologies from Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC).

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 700 women die from complications of pregnancy in the U.S. each year. Most of those deaths are believed to be preventable. Black women are also more likely to experience death or complications than white women.  

The HHS Perinatal Improvement Collaborative will look for ways to reduce these deaths and complications among mothers and their babies. Using Premier’s comprehensive and timely PINC AI™ Healthcare Database (PHD), a standardized data collection system, the program will be able to quickly generate solutions for safer obstetric and neonatal care that can be put into practice nationwide.

This health equity effort strives to address troubling disparities in birth outcomes and examine how care might be reliably tailored to mothers with different needs, through:

  • Reliable and timely data: Real-time data will help paint a complete picture of the patient and circumstances surrounding clinical care to improve measurement and comparisons across geographies and populations.
  • Broader lens: The collaborative will study the care of mothers and babies as a unit. This will provide an opportunity to identify if the direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality increase a newborn’s risk of lifelong morbidity and mortality. It will also identify existing health risks of women, or those resulting from pregnancy to prevent negative health impacts for both women and their babies.
  • Identify disparities: This collaborative aims to address health equity by identifying social determinants of health and uncovering ways to reduce persistent racial, ethnic and geographic disparities in care.

“We’ve always been working to improve the safety of our care and have made addressing disparities a priority,” says Sue Pedaline, DNP, RN, vice president, Cone Health Maternal-Child Services. “The goals of this collaborative dovetail nicely with what we are doing at Cone Health.” 

“Maternal health is an important indicator for infant health,” said Dr. Dorothy Fink, deputy assistant secretary for women’s health and Director, Office on Women’s Health. “If we can standardize quality care for women during pregnancy and after giving birth, we can change the current trajectory of maternal and infant death. When mothers have better health, we create better opportunities for infants and the larger community to have better health. I’m excited this collaboration will help us fulfill the HHS Maternal Health Action Plan and vision that our nation is the safest for women to give birth. At HHS, we are committed to making this happen.”   

The effort will be guided by an external advisory panel comprising more than 20 expert clinicians and thought leaders, and patient partners from MoMMA’s Voices, a coalition of advocacy organizations focused on leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity.