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Q&A: Reducing maternal mortality with a focus on education, preparedness
Delayed six months by the coronavirus pandemic, two new maternal health standards by The Joint Commission (TJC) will finally go into effect as of January 1, 2021.
The standards—PC.06.01.01 on reducing the harm from maternal hemorrhage and PC.06.03.01 on reducing harm related to maternal severe hypertension/preeclampsia— are in the July 2020 standards manual update. However, hospitals are not being held to the requirements until January.
Earlier this year, TJC issued an R3: Requirement, Rationale, Reference report discussing the standards and offering resources on how to implement compliance with the effort “to improve the quality and safety of care provided to women during all stages of pregnancy and postpartum.”
TJC officials have said they are particularly aiming to reduce the high maternal morbidity and mortality rate in the United States. TJC developed the standards after convening a panel of technical experts and conducting a literature review that showed “prevention, early recognition, and timely treatment for maternal hemorrhage and severe hypertension/preeclampsia had the highest impact in states working on decreasing maternal complications.”
Inside Accreditation and Quality went to TJC with some questions to clarify the hospital’s role in maternal health and expectations for organizations in meeting the new requirements.
The following Q&A with Jennifer Hurlburt, MSN, RN, APN/CNS, TJC’s associate director of the Department of Standards and Survey Methods, has been lightly edited for space and clarity.
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