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  • Incorporate preconception and genetics into your everyday practice.
  • Use our patient education tools in preconception and prenatal care.
  • Use our Prematurity Campaign resources to help improve birth outcomes.
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Toward Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy III

Toward improving the outcome of pregnancy: Enhancing perinatal health through quality, safety and performance initiatives (TIOP III) explores the elements that are essential to improving quality, safety and performance across the continuum of perinatal care: consistent data collection and measurement; evidence-based initiatives; adherence to clinical practice guidelines; a life-course perspective; care that is patient- and family-centered, culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate; policies that support high-quality perinatal care; and systems change.

As TIOP III demonstrates, improving the quality of perinatal care depends on applying evidence-based practice and clinical guidelines throughout the course of a woman’s life. Each chapter illustrates specific strategies and interventions that incorporate robust process and systems change, including the power of statewide quality improvement collaboratives that are improving perinatal outcomes. It concludes with cross-cutting themes and action items that stakeholders across the continuum of perinatal care will recognize as opportunities to improve pregnancy outcomes.

Ultimately, reaching a more efficient, more accountable system of perinatal care will require a level of collaboration, services integration and communication that lead to successful perinatal quality improvement initiatives, many which are described throughout this book. In addition to the consistent collection of data and measurement and the application of evidence-based interventions, successful collaborations, like all perinatal quality improvement, depend on the engagement, support and commitment of everyone reading this book: health care professionals and hospital leadership, public health professionals and community-based service providers, research scientists, policy-makers and payers, as well as patients and families.

Download a free copy of the report at prematurityprevention.org. Registration is required.

See also: Less than 39 weeks toolkit, Preterm labor assessment toolkit

Prematurity prevention

Find information and resources for professionals at the Prematurity Prevention Resource Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the March of Dimes provide information about birth defects?

Yes. The March of Dimes produces fact sheets on several birth defects, including autism, chromosomal abnormalities, cleft lip, congenital heart defects and Down syndrome. Simply type the name of the birth defect into the search box.

What happens during a preconception checkup?

A preconception checkup can help assure that a woman is as healthy as possible before she conceives. Her provider can identify and often treat health conditions that can pose a risk in pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or certain infections. During the visit, the woman can learn about nutrition, weight, smoking, drinking alcohol and occupational exposures that can pose pregnancy risks. The provider also can make sure a woman’s vaccinations are up to date and that any medications she takes are safe during pregnancy. The woman and her provider can discuss her health history and that of her partner and family. If the woman or her partner has a history of birth defects or preterm birth or if either has a high risk for a genetic disorder based on family history, ethnic background or age, the provider may suggest seeing a genetic counselor.

What is a birth defect?

A birth defect is an abnormality of structure, function or metabolism (body chemistry) present at birth that results in physical or intellectual disabilities or death. Thousands of different birth defects have been identified. Birth defects are the leading cause of death in the first year of life.

See also: Common birth defects

What newborn screening tests does the March of Dimes recommend?

The March of Dimes would like to see all babies in all states screened for at least 31 health conditions. Many of these health conditions can be treated if found early.

All states require newborn screening for at least 26 health conditions. Some states require screening for additional conditions – some up to 50 or more. For more information, read our article on newborn screening.

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