Member spotlight: Virginia Mason Medical Center sees early success with TeamBirth implementation

February 1, 2024

Virginia Mason Medical Center has seen more than 115 new births since the implementation of TeamBirth, an industry-standard process to improve communication, teamwork and shared decision making throughout the birthing process, giving every person a chance at a safe, dignified childbirth experience.

“We’ve gotten very positive feedback. Patients are grateful for everyone to be on the same page – especially those who transfer from other hospitals who don’t have TeamBirth in place; they are surprised at how much autonomy they have over their birthing process here,” said Allie Pleas, a labor and delivery nurse. “This protocol has allowed us to honor their original plan with minimal intervention, and we’ve been able to integrate what the patient wants with VMMC plan.”

TeamBirth improves care by ensuring people giving birth and the clinicians caring for them have shared input and understanding during the delivery of care. The program calls for team huddles at key decision points throughout the hospital stay with the information discussed anchored on a white board present in all patient rooms. Huddles happen on admission to the hospital, with any changes to the patient or child’s condition, when decisions are made surrounding delivery and anytime the patient or a team member requests a huddle.

“TeamBirth has helped give more structure and improve techniques we already had in place. For example, it provides a good reminder for nurses to do their bedside shift reports, which are a regulatory requirement,” clinical manager Mark Yehl said. “It has enhanced reporting of who is caring for the patients; it ensures they know who is caring for them at all times.”

Fifteen Washington hospitals signed up to be a part of the first cohort to implement TeamBirth, and seven more have signed up to participate in cohort two.  Cohort three has seven already and is currently enrolling to start on March 21.

The rollout of TeamBirth is a joint venture between WSHA and Massachusetts-based Ariadne Labs, supported with funding by Ballmer Group. (Daniel Pérez)



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