Advocacy for Mothers & Babies on a Statewide Level: Regional Consortiums Make a Difference


Poster Presentation

Purpose for the Program

The Northeast Perinatal Team in northeastern Massachusetts is an active consortium of level I and II perinatal facilities throughout Massachusetts consisting of perinatal department leadership and educators. It fosters collaboration in care between its members and with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Health Department, along with the Massachusetts section of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses to attain and maintain high standards of care for the perinatal population of the state.

Proposed Change

Members of the Northeast Perinatal Team committed to working with the Department of Public Health in revising and updating the perinatal regulations in 2006 with members attending every subcommittee and full committee meeting on all regulatory revisions to ensure that the regulations were evidence-based and used outcome measures for future regulatory changes. A member of the Northeast Perinatal Team now sits on the Department of Health Perinatal Advisory Committee, the Newborn Screening Advisory Committee, and the Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Committee. We continue to seek statewide solutions and approaches for improved perinatal care that meet the individual, collective, and cultural needs of our diverse perinatal populations.

Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation

Educational programs are provided regionally to ensure consistent and cost-effective ongoing education for perinatal staff. In particular, we offer regularly scheduled Sugar and Safe Care, Temperature, Airway, Blood Pressure, Lab Work, and Emotional Support (STABLE) programs, STABLE cardiac programs and annual mother–baby conferences aimed at evidence-based practice. We developed a statewide guideline for management of infants under the Safe Haven law to reduce the number of abandoned infants in Massachusetts, which each hospital individualized as its own. In 2010, we worked with the Department of Public Health to construct guidelines statewide for the management of placentas; we participated in and are currently working on state guidelines for drug testing of pregnant mothers and substance exposed newborns as well as the reporting guidelines with the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families.

Implications for Nursing Practice

The team remains committed to improving practice through nursing education and collaboration and advocating for our patients at local and state levels. Nurse members of the Northeast Perinatal Team also participate in other statewide collaboratives in perinatal care that advocate for the highest quality of perinatal care.