UI Health nurse-midwives earn best practice award

Nurse Midwifery Practice team

The UI Health nurse-midwifery team (Photo: UI Health)

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a Boston-based independent not-for-profit organization, awarded the University of Illinois Hospital’s nurse-midwifery practice the Triple Aim Best Practice Award for its work on three fronts: improving patient experience, reducing the cost of care and improving community health.

The award recognizes midwifery practices who have a proven record of exceeding national guidelines when it comes to key indicators of maternal and child health. To achieve Triple Aim destination, practices need to meet certain criteria and demonstrate: low rates of primary cesarean births (less than 23 percent), low rates preterm births (less than 11 percent) and high rates of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 48 hours (more than 81 percent). Practices also need to report on the cost of care and fiscal outcomes.

According to the IHI, the Triple Aim framework should help organizations and communities “transition from a focus on health care to optimizing health for individuals and populations.”

Of the more 250 midwifery practices that participated in the 2017 American College of Nurse-Midwives Benchmarking Project, which the IHI used to evaluate teams for the award, fewer than 100 were honored with the Triple Aim designation.

“This designation is a testament to the safe, high-quality, patient-centered care UI Health midwives provide to patients every day,” said Kathleen Harmon, midwifery practice coordinator.

UI Health’s nurse-midwifery practice is one of the largest practices in the Midwest, serving communities on Chicago’s South and West sides, in addition to attending births at the University of Illinois Hospital. The practice is the only midwifery education program in the state of Illinois.