Today the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) released preliminary results of the 2011 Annual ACNM Benchmarking Project—an outcomes survey of more than 200 midwifery practices in the United States with a combined total of over 80,000 births, and nearly 900 certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs). This marks a record high of participating practices since the project first started.
In concert with this announcement, ACNM will welcome experts in maternity care performance improvement to the ACNM 57th Annual Meeting in Long Beach, CA, June 2 – 7. The meeting’s premier session on Thursday, June 7 will be facilitated by Childbirth Connection Executive Director Maureen Corry, MPH, and will feature:
• Ann Scott Blouin, RN, PhD, The Joint Commission, and
• James D. Byrne, MD, California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative.
Together, the expert panel will provide an overview of the perinatal performance measurement landscape, including where we are now, goals for the future, and implications for midwives and their clients.
“Decades of research, and now a large national survey of practices, continue to show that midwives achieve excellent health and safety outcomes,” said ACNM President Holly Powell Kennedy, CNM, PhD, FACNM, FAAN. “Our model of care is uniquely positioned to offer the US maternity care system improved health for women and their babies, as well as cost-effective care.”
Preliminary results of the 2011 Annual ACNM Benchmarking Project show an average cesarean rate of 13.8 percent and an average preterm birth rate of 2.3 percent—well below the national averages of 32.8 percent and 11.99 percent respectively. This new report sheds light on 16 preliminary outcome measures, including vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) success rate, breastfeeding initiation and continuation rates, and induction rate. As maternity care quality improvement enters the national spotlight, these results position midwives as leaders in achieving optimal outcomes for American women and their newborns.
“Midwives are devoted to achieving the best outcomes for women and their families,” said ACNM Executive Director Lorrie Kline Kaplan, CAE. “CNMs and CMs are well integrated into today’s health care system and must be utilized to a greater extent if our country is to achieve excellence in maternity and women’s health care.”
Preliminary results of the ACNM Benchmarking Project (acnm.org) are available for public download at midwife.org/benchmarking. Final results with additional clinical outcomes measures will be available in Fall 2012. It is important to note that the purpose of the ACNM Benchmarking Project is not data collection for research purposes. Rather, benchmarking data is intended to provide an annual snapshot comparison of midwifery practices.