An early elective delivery or EED, defined as a delivery between 37-39 weeks without a medical or obstetrical indication, carries significant increased risk for a baby as compared to infants born between 39 and 41 weeks. *In October of 2012 the VHHA Board of Directors adopted a goal that all Virginia hospitals providing obstetrical services voluntarily submit their rate of early elective deliveries (EEDs) to the VHHA and pledge to prevent early elective deliveries by establishing policies and procedures addressing this issue within their organizations. All 53 Virginia hospitals providing obstetrical services have submitted their data and are achieving positive results in the effort to reduce the rate of EEDs in Virginia.
Hospitals around the state have reduced early elective deliveries by over 50% since the collaboration began in January 2013. Hospitals have been able to reduce EEDs by working with their medical staffs to adopt policies to identify specific situations where the benefits of an early delivery would be greater than the risks associated with such deliveries and educating their staff, patients and families. Data was also gathered and monitored to ensure that the rate of EEDs was indeed decreasing.
A statewide steering committee comprised of representatives from the VHHA, the Medical Society of Virginia, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Virginia Chapter, the March of Dimes and the Virginia Department of Health has provided guidance for this statewide effort and remains available to assist Virginia hospitals in this important quality improvement effort.
*Clark, SL, Miller DD, Belfort MA, Dildy GA, Frye DK, Meyers, JA. Neonatal and maternal outcomes associated with elective term delivery. AM J Obstet Gynecol, 156, February 2009, 31-e4.