TeamBirth NJ Launches at Virtua Mount Holly Hospital
Shared decision-making during labor and delivery results in improved outcomes for mothers and babies
(September 20, 2023) Virtua Mount Holly Hospital recently celebrated the launch of a new initiative called TeamBirth NJ. The hospital is among the first in the state to embrace this evidence-based, national model for better provider/patient communication during labor and delivery, called “shared decision-making.” Improving communication between patients and hospital staff enhances patients’ experience, improves outcomes, and supports health equity.
A principal component of TeamBirth is a whiteboard (called a planning board) located in all labor and delivery rooms. The board outlines care plans and progress for the patient and serves as an ongoing, shared reference for the Virtua clinicians. The full care team, which includes the person giving birth and their support person, meets frequently in dedicated “huddles” to make sure all parties are informed and engaged. The huddles provide patients with an opportunity to voice their emotions, opinions, and concerns in a respectful, encouraging environment.
“TeamBirth invites the patient and their support person to play an active role in shared decision-making,” said Michelle Salvatore, MD, an OB-GYN with Virtua Health. “We want them to feel empowered and a sense of agency during this hugely important milestone.”
TeamBirth has been in place at Virtua Voorhees Hospital and the Virtua Midwifery Birth & Wellness Center for about a year; feedback from participating families has been extremely positive. Virtua Health is South Jersey’s largest health system and a leader in mother-baby care. Virtua’s hospitals and midwifery center collectively welcomed more than 9,000 babies in both 2021 and 2022.