Second cohort of Washington hospitals to launch TeamBirth for safer labor, deliveries

April 16, 2024

Six more hospitals in Washington have committed to join the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) and Ariadne Labs to implement TeamBirth: a best practices program that centers the patient in all health care decisions made throughout labor, delivery and postpartum. This group of hospitals represent the second cohort adopting the program, with launch dates the week of April 22.

TeamBirth was developed by Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. WSHA partnered Ariadne Labs to introduce the program in Washington 2023. The first cohort consisted of 15 hospitals, and WSHA hopes to achieve 100% adoption of TeamBirth across the state’s birthing hospitals by the end of 2025.

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.

The huddle aspect of TeamBirth ensures that everyone involved in the birthing process is on the same page and that decisions are made transparently. The person giving birth – alongside any caregivers who are not part of hospital staff (doulas, spouses, parents of the expecting person, etc.) – convene with the labor and delivery staff to go over a birthing plan and any desires or expectations of the person giving birth. This ensures shared decision making between the new parent and hospital staff in case of any unexpected changes to the delivery plan.

TeamBirth has already proven to be successful in improving patient experience among the first cohort of adoptees.

“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,” said Mark Yehl, clinical manager at Virginia Mason Medical Center, which adopted TeamBirth as part of the first cohort. “It has enhanced reporting of who is caring for the patients; it ensures they know who is caring for them at all times.”

The six hospitals participating in cohort two are:

  • Providence Mt. Carmel Hospital
  • Lake Chelan Health
  • Pullman Regional Health
  • UW Medical Center
  • UW Valley Medical Center
  • Forks Community Hospital

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

“All women and birthing people deserve to have a safe and dignified experience during and after their delivery,” said Dr. Amber Weiseth, DNP, MSN, RN, director of Ariadne Labs’ Delivery Decisions Initiative. “Having lived in Washington for most of my life, I am so excited that TeamBirth will continue to grow here, a state deeply committed to innovating and improving the quality of health care.”

“We are excited to be one of the first states in the country to implement TeamBirth. Our hospitals are committed to those giving birth having the best possible experience in the hospital bringing their new child into the world,” WSHA CEO Cassie Sauer said. “Giving birth is such a special moment of life. The implementation of this program creates clear avenues of communication to keep everyone on the same page, and to keep the expecting parent an active participant in their health care.”


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