Saint Peter’s University Hospital to Launch “TeamBirth”

September 19, 2023

Saint Peter’s University Hospital to Launch “TeamBirth”
Celebrates National Model That Will Enhance Labor & Delivery Experience

New Brunswick, N.J.
— September 19, 2023 — On Tuesday, September 19 at 9 AM, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, in conjunction with members of the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services, will celebrate the launch of TeamBirth, an evidence-based, national model for better provider and patient communication during the birthing experience. The goal is to empower all members of the care team, including the patient, to play an active role in shared decision-making as it has been shown to significantly improve safety, quality of care, and overall birthing outcomes.

TeamBirth is a structured method to foster better communication between laboring mothers and the clinical team caring for them. The NJ Quality Institute, in partnership with Ariadne Labs, is leading the initiative in the state. The program was developed by Ariadne Labs, which is 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 the individuals giving birth and the clinicians who are caring for them have shared input and understanding into decisions made during labor and delivery. The New Jersey Department of Health is a TeamBirth NJ partner and is providing funding, ensuring that lessons learned will be shared statewide. The following individuals will be present at the launch event and presenting brief remarks:
  1. - Nancy Scotto-Rosato, Assistant Commissioner, Division of Family Health Services, New Jersey Department of Health
  2. - Linda Carroll, MSN, RN, RN-BC, Vice President of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System
  3. - Amber Weiseth, DNP, MSN, RN, Director of Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs, and Research Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan         School of Public Health
  4. - Linda J. Schwimmer, JD, President and CEO, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute
  5. - William J. Lowe, MD, Interim Chairman, Department of Obstetrics, Saint Peter’s University Hospital
  6. - Pamela Harmon, DNP, MSN, RNC-NIC, Director, Women and Children’s Division, Saint Peter’s University Hospital and Administrative Director,  Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center

Improving maternal health outcomes is currently a statewide priority in New Jersey. First Lady Tammy Murphy previously launched NurtureNJ, a program aimed to reduce the state’s maternal mortality by 50 percent over the next five years, while eliminating racial disparities in birth outcomes. New Jersey Department of Health data shows 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). In addition, figures show that Black and Hispanic women in New Jersey are seven times more likely to die in childbirth, according to data from 2014-2016 (46.9 per 100,000 live births) than White, Non-Hispanic women (6.5 per 100,000 live births). The First Lady’s initiative aims to turn these numbers around.

“Saint Peter’s University Hospital has been a leader in maternal health and we’re proud to be an active participant in TeamBirth, an initiative that will ensure better outcomes for expectant mothers and their newborns,” said Linda Carroll, MSN, RN, RN-BC, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at Saint Peter’s Healthcare System. “Our physicians, nurses and maternal care team members have enthusiastically supported TeamBirth and its practices which will transform the communication process between mothers and the healthcare providers that support them during one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life.”

According to Pamela Harmon, DNP, MSN, RNC-NIC, director of the Women and Children’s Division at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, and administrative director of the Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, “We recently implemented TeamBirth and have already received positive feedback from patients and our team members. At the core of the program are team huddles comprised of expectant mothers, nurses, and other active members of the clinical care team including certified nurse-midwives. Using a whiteboard that is present in labor and delivery rooms, the patient’s care plan is updated ongoing as the labor process progresses. This simple visual ensures that there is clear communication and shared decision-making across all participants during every phase of the birthing process. The board serves as a shared reference for all.”
Items documented on the whiteboard include:
  1. - Promoting the roles of the laboring patient, nurse, and delivering provider as members of the care team with equally valuable input for decision- making
  2. - Eliciting the patient’s preferences, symptoms, and subjective experiences and integrate with clinical data to inform patient care plans
  3. - Distinguishing maternal, fetal, and labor progress statuses and care plans
  4. - Setting shared expectations for next the planned evaluation
The TeamBirth model was developed and rigorously tested by Ariadne Labs as part of its Delivery Decisions Initiative, a research and social impact program focused on transforming childbirth care around the world. The program was designed to operationalize best practices in communication, teamwork and clinical care in collaboration with experts from major professional organizations in obstetrics in the United States including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), and Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). TeamBirth has now 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. Many other practices and procedures implemented at Saint Peter’s have become standard protocol in women’s maternal health and neonatal care statewide.


About Saint Peter’s University Hospital
Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, is a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. Saint Peter’s, which received its sixth consecutive designation as a Magnet® hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2020, is also state-designated children’s hospital and a regional perinatal center, and is a regional specialist in diabetes, gastroenterology, head and neck surgery, oncology, orthopedics, and women’s services. Saint Peter’s is the recipient of the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for the adult intensive care unit, neonatal intensive care unit, cardiac progressive care unit and the pediatric intensive care unit. The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital provides families with access to a full range of pediatric specialties, including a nationally recognized Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, pediatric surgery and orthopedic surgery featuring innovative anterior scoliosis correction. The hospital has the state’s only hospital-based, midwifery-led birth center – the Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center, accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers, and is the state’s first to be verified as a Level IV Maternal Care facility by The Joint Commission. Saint Peter’s is a sponsor of residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and internal medicine, and is a major clinical affiliate of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Visit or call 732.745.8600.

About New Jersey Quality Institute
The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute’s mission is to improve the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for everyone. Our membership includes all stakeholders in health care. Together with our 100 plus members, we are working toward a world where everyone receives safe, equitable, and affordable health care and can live their healthiest lives.

About Ariadne Labs
Ariadne Labs is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. With a mission to save lives and reduce suffering, our vision is that health systems equitably deliver the best possible care for every patient, everywhere, every time. We use human centered design, health systems implementation science, public health expertise, and frontline clinical care experience to design, test and spread scalable systems-level solutions to some of health care’s biggest problems. From developing checklists and conversation guides to fostering international collaborations and establishing global standards of measurement, our work has been accessed in more than 165 countries, touching hundreds of millions of lives.

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