Virtua Voorhees Hospital and Virtua Midwifery Birth & Wellness Center Launch TeamBirth NJ
Better communication between patients and providers
improves maternal infant outcomes.
September 13, 2022 - Virtua Voorhees Hospital and the Virtua Midwifery Birth & Wellness Center recently held a launch event for TeamBirth NJ, an evidence based, national model for better provider and patient communication, which is also called “shared decision-making.” Virtua is one of three New Jersey hospitals selected as pilot programs for TeamBirth NJ, which will enhance birthing experiences and improve outcomes for mothers and babies.
The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in partnership with Ariadne Labs, is leading the initiative in New Jersey. The state Department of Health provided funding and is a TeamBirth NJ partner, ensuring that lessons learned will be shared across the state.
TeamBirth is a structured method to foster better communication between the clinical team and the person giving birth. TeamBirth was developed by Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. TeamBirth was designed around best practices in communication, teamwork, and clinical care. The initiative ensures that people giving birth and the clinicians who are caring for them have shared input and understanding into decisions during labor and delivery.
A central component of the TeamBirth model is a shared whiteboard, located in all labor and delivery rooms and serving as an ongoing shared reference for the team to outline care plans and progress for the patient and the baby. The full care team, including the person giving birth and their support person, meets frequently throughout labor and delivery in huddles to make sure all parties are aware of the patient’s preferences, symptoms, and experiences and to set clear expectations.
Nicole Lamborne, MD, OB/GYN, and Vice President of Clinical Operations, is excited about launching TeamBirth NJ at Virtua and for helping to drive this important, patient-centric work.
“At Virtua, we believe that patient-centered care leads to the best birth experiences for all of our new mothers and our tiniest patients,” she explained. “The TeamBirth Initiative is an important communication tool that will only strengthen the relationship between patients and providers, and result in the best outcomes for mothers and babies.”
New Jersey Department of Health data show that pregnancy-related deaths in the state, measured per 100,000 live births, have been increasing: from 12.8 (2011–2013) to 15.0 (2014–2016). The TeamBirth model is part of a research and social impact program focused on transforming childbirth care around the world developed and tested by Ariadne Labs. TeamBirth has been implemented in more than 60 hospitals around the country, collectively involving more than 1,500 clinicians and more than 67,000 mothers and babies.
“Every birth is special for the parents and also for the medical team working to bring forth a new life,” said Chrissy McDonald, RN, Director of Labor & Delivery at Virtua Voorhees. “Improved communication with our patients will lead to better personalized experiences that reflect each parent’s values, preferences, and expectations. This will allow us to get to know our patients better, and therefore provide better quality of care. I am genuinely excited to welcome TeamBirth NJ to Virtua.”