Sep 15, 2022 Monmouth Medical Center Among Three New Jersey Hospitals to Launch TeamBirth to Enhance Patient Experience During Labor and Delivery

TeamBirth Group with Tammy Murphy

Shown at MMC’s TeamBirth launch event are, from left, Eric Carney, MMC and MMCSC President & CEO, Suzanne Spernal, Vice President Women’s Services for RWJBarnabas Health, Robert Graebe, MD, Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Monmouth Medical Center, New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, Linda Schwimmer, President & CEO, NJ Health Care Quality Institute, NJ Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, Amber Weiseth, Director, Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs, and RWJBarnabas Health President Mark Manigan.

Long Branch, N.J., September 15th, 2022— Monmouth Medical Center recently joined three New Jersey hospitals in the September 12th launch of TeamBirth NJ, an evidence based, national model for better provider and patient communication, which is also called “shared decision-making.”

TeamBirth NJ will enhance birthing experiences and improve outcomes for people giving birth and their babies, according to the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (Quality Institute), who, 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.

In addition to MMC, the three hospitals involved in the launch are sister RWJBarnabas Health facility Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center and Virtua Voorhees Hospital. TeamBirth also launched at Virtua Health’s Midwifery Birth and Wellness Center.

Shown in one of the MMC’s postpartum suites are Meredith and Nick Picurro of Union Beach with newborn son Steven wearing a commemorative TeamBirth onesie. They are pictured with, from left, nurse Terry Tompkins, RN, and ob/gyn Karen Smith, D.O.

“Monmouth Medical Center was recently recognized by Healthgrades for excellence in labor and delivery and obstetrics and gynecology for the seventh consecutive year, and we welcome the opportunity to build upon our success by further improving the patient experience and enhancing outcomes for families,” said Eric Carney, President and CEO of MMC and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus (MMCSC). “I am so grateful for the incredible skill, expertise and dedication of our mother-baby team under the exceptional leadership of our Ob/Gyn Chari, Dr. Robert Graebe. They work extremely hard – delivering more than 6,000 babies annually, more than all other hospitals in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined and the sixth most in the state, and we are committed to ensuring that every one of these families has access to safe, quality, respectful and equitable maternity care. Implementing TeamBirth will be another tool to help us ensure that we accomplish this important mission.”

TeamBirth, a structured method to foster better communication between the clinical team and the person giving birth, 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.

“At the Quality Institute, we have long worked to improve maternal infant outcomes,” said Linda Schwimmer, President and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. “Bringing TeamBirth to New Jersey advances this critical mission by strengthening communication between providers and patients. We know that patients who are empowered to make decisions about their care that better reflect their personal preferences often experience more favorable outcomes.”

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). This trend is especially distressing because three in five pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some deaths, such as those from severe bleeding, high blood pressure, and blood clots, are highly preventable. Additionally, unacceptable racial disparities exist in New Jersey, where Black, Non-Hispanic women had approximately seven times more pregnancy-related deaths, 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).

“All people who give birth deserve to have a safe, dignified experience. TeamBirth is an evidence-based approach to turn this vision into a reality,” said Amber Weiseth, DNP, MSN, RNC-OB, Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs. “We are excited to collaborate with these three hospitals in New Jersey to ensure that the patient voice is central to all decisions in labor and delivery. We hope to see this model continue to spread to ensure the best possible care experience for every patient, everywhere.”

Both of the participating New Jersey health systems welcomed the initiative and their ability to be early adopters.

“At RWJBarnabas Health, we are committed to ensuring that all families have access to quality, respectful and equitable maternity care. Implementing the TeamBirth model will help ensure families giving birth and the health care teams caring for them are engaging in shared decision making, which is linked to a better patient experience and improved birth outcomes,” said Suzanne Spernal, DNP, APN-BC, RNC-OB, C-ONQS, Vice President of Women’s Services, RWJBarnabas Health. “Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center deliver nearly 13,000 babies a year and are excited to collaborate with the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, the New Jersey Department of Health, and Ariadne Labs to launch the TeamBirth model in New Jersey.”

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, of which the person giving birth and their support person are an integral part, 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.

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. In one TeamBirth trial, 90 percent of the clinicians said they would recommend TeamBirth and nearly 80 percent of patients said their preferences made a difference in the care they received.

TeamBirth now 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.

About Monmouth Medical Center
Monmouth Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) facility, along with The Unterberg Children’s Hospital, is a regional teaching campus for Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. As the first hospital in Monmouth and Ocean counties, Monmouth Medical Center offers the most experienced surgeons in robotics and other minimally invasive procedures as well as bariatric and joint and spine surgery. Monmouth Medical Center delivers more babies annually than all other hospitals in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined and the fourth most in the state. The hospital offers access to the region’s top cardiologists and the award-winning, nationally recognized RWJBarnabas Heart Centers. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has conferred Magnet® recognition for Monmouth Medical Center, one of just 509 U.S. health care organizations out of more than 6,300 U.S. hospitals to achieve Magnet recognition. It is the only hospital in Monmouth and Ocean counties to consistently receive an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit organization, and has been named a Leapfrog Top Teaching Hospital for a third time. MMC is one of just 414 of the more than 6,000 hospital hospitals in the United Stated named to Newsweek's Global Best Hospitals' list and one of 148 U.S. hospitals named to the digital platform Money’s inaugural list of the Best Hospitals in America. Additionally, it is one of 34 U.S. hospitals honored by the Emergency Nurses Association with the 2022–2025 Lantern Award for excellence in emergency care, and for the seventh consecutive year, was honored by Healthgrades with the Obstetrics and Gynecology and Labor and Delivery Excellence Awards. RWJBarnabas Health and Monmouth Medical Center, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey — the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center — brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside patients, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials.

About the New Jersey Health Care 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.

Kathy Horan