New Website Seeks to Strengthen Maternal Mortality Reviews to Reduce Pregnancy-Related Deaths

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) has launched a website to promote the maternal mortality review process as the gold standard for measuring and reducing pregnancy related death.

Review to Action advances the measurement of pregnancy-related deaths and the translation of maternal mortality review findings into population-based solutions and interventions, and serves as a resource for best practices in maternal mortality review.

The pregnancy-related mortality ratio in the U.S. has steadily increased in recent decades, with an estimated 700 women dying of pregnancy-related causes each year. The goal of Review to Action is to:

  • Assist states without a maternal mortality review committee (MMRC) in gathering resources, tools, and support to build political and social will to establish a review committee;
  • Connect states with a MMRC to their peers to share forms, processes, procedures, and strategies to build capacity to conduct reviews and translate findings into action;
  • Raise awareness of the critical role MMRCs play in eliminating preventable maternal deaths and promoting the health and wellness of expecting and new mothers.

The Florida Department of Health and key partners, including FAHSC, has implemented state reviews of maternal deaths through the Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (PAMR) Project since 1996. This case review program seeks to pinpoint gaps in care, identify systemic service delivery issues, and make recommendations to foster improvements in existing systems of care. PAMR is modeled after Fetal & Infant Mortality Reviews which are implemented throughout the state by local Healthy Start Coalitions.

A key element of the new national effort is the Maternal Mortality Review Information Application (MMRIA), a free data system launched on May 1, 2017 that supports developing a common language for reviews and puts states on a path to use data in a standard way. MMRIA supports and standardizes key parts of the review process, including data abstraction, case narrative development, documentation of committee decisions, and routine analysis.

AMCHP developed Review to Action in partnership with the CDC Foundation and the CDC Division of Reproductive Health. Review to Action is a product of a larger initiative, Building U.S. Capacity to Review and Prevent Maternal Deaths, led by the CDC Foundation and supported by funding from Merck through its “Merck for Mothers” program.