Font Size [+] [–]

Excellence in Obstetrics

The Department of Health and Human Services gave Ascension Health a grant for an important research study to help learn how to promote safety for mothers and babies during delivery. Five Health Ministries were included in the study:

  • St. Vincent’s Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala.
  • St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit
  • Columbia St. Mary’s in Milwaukee
  • Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore
  • Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast in Miramar Beach, Fla.

Although the study concluded in July 2013, Ascension Health has developed this page as a reference for the participants as a reminder of the information available from the participating Health Ministry's websites prior to, during, and immediately following the study. The three main components were:

  1. introduction to the study along with the necessary consent forms
  2. frequently asked questions
  3. links to related sites

In addition to the information provided to participants, Ascension Health now has study results to share:

  • A completion rate of 90% for all physicians and nurses on all education and training elements: Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) and Shoulder Dystocia e-learning, Simulation and TeamSTEPPS® Training, Disclosure and Root Cause Analysis Training, and implementation of a new Ascension Health Shoulder Dystocia bundle.
  • Shoulder Dystocia and EFM STARS cases were reduced to 1.84 from a pre-grant period amount of 4.32, a 57% decrease. (STARS is the Risk Management database that contains all OB cases and Notices of Intent [NOIs].)
  • The total number of STARS cases was reduced to 7.23 from a pre-grant period amount of 14.06, a 48.6% decrease.
  • The total dollar amount incurred for eight claims/NOIs/suits during the pre-grant period was $7,592,132.79, as compared to the total incurred for four claims/NOIs/suits during the grant period as $930,400.00, a 200% decrease.
  • SSE reporting increased from 41 (per 1,000 births) to 84 (per 1,000 births), a 105% increase. (SSE reporting is an important hallmark of a High Reliability Organization.)

Pregnant women at these facilities were asked if they wanted to help by being part of the study.

  • The hospitals collected information from the medical records of mothers and babies to help promote better outcomes for all patients.
  • Women who wanted to participate were asked to read and sign a Patient Consent Form. For moms-to-be under the age of 18, they were to read and sign a Patient Assent Form for Minors.

Important facts shared with the women:

  • Signing the form allows us to use information about your labor and delivery to promote patient safety.
  • You will receive the same care, whether you sign up or not.
  • There are absolutely no additional tests or treatments.
  • Your privacy is protected by law. We will not share your name, your baby’s name, or any other information that could identify you.
  • The study complies with all federal and state regulations under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) — a law that protects the security and confidentiality of healthcare information.

In addition to the information above, the Health Ministries also provided a list of Frequently Asked Questions, which are listed below:

Do I have to be in the study?
No. It is up to you if you want to be part of the study. You will be treated the same, whether you sign up or not.

Does this study require you to do any tests on me or my baby?
No. We will collect information from your medical chart about your delivery. For example, did you have a vaginal or cesarean section delivery, were there any complications, etc.

How will this information be used?
Your information along with information from other new mothers will help us learn how we can make it even safer when women have babies. The information could also be used to improve the way the hospital takes care of patients during labor and delivery.

Will you be releasing my name or personal information?
No. It is the law that your name and your baby’s name remain private. No information we collect identifies you. The study complies with all federal and state regulations under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects the security and confidentiality of healthcare information.

Will I receive experimental treatments?
No. All we need from you is information from your medical records.

Is this happening at every hospital? Why are these hospitals included?
No, this study is not happening everywhere. The hospitals were selected because they are part of Ascension Health and were interested in learning more about this issue.

What if I sign the form and change my mind?
You may leave the study at any time. Your participation is up to you.

What happens if my information is needed for the study?
In certain cases, where outcomes are excellent or areas of improvement are needed, we may ask you if you want to talk to us about your experience. At that time, you can let us know if we can use your information.

What is HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed by Congress in 1996 to make sure Americans’ health records are private by protecting the security and confidentiality of healthcare information.

Where can I get more information?
Please browse this Web site to find an informative video and other information. Also, your doctor and the staff at your hospital will be able to answer any other questions you may have about the study. Don’t hesitate to ask them.

Related Links

Fact Sheet for Adults

Fact Sheet for Minors

Patient Consent Form

Patient Assent Form for Minors


Ascension Health

Participating Hospital Links

McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
footer top corners footer bottom corners