The Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital is committed to reducing postpartum readmission rates and continually improving the obstetric care and safety of our patients.

Initiatives to Improve Postpartum Care and Safety

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Within the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, a team of physicians, nurses and administrative staff continually reviews our processes and practices, and manages initiatives to improve the quality of care we provide to our patients.

Reducing the rates of readmission to the hospital after giving birth is a priority for our quality and safety team. Mass General has postpartum readmission rates that compare favorably to a national benchmark, but the team, in coordination with other clinicians and caregivers, has instituted a number of measures to further reduce these rates.

At the Hospital

Each obstetric patient’s care is managed by a multidisciplinary group, including obstetricians, certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, nurses and representatives from case management, lactation and social work. Care teams meet daily to discuss individual cases and treatment.

An attending registered nurse meets with all patients on the Newborn Family Unit to help ensure that the care they receive throughout their hospital stay is well-coordinated and seamless.

For patients requiring a cesarean section, we use a new preoperative preparation that may better maintain sterility in the operative field, and keeps patients warmer and drier during surgery, which can reduce the rate of infection.

After Discharge

Once new mothers are discharged from Mass General, our nurses maintain contact with them. An obstetric inpatient nurse will call within 24-48 hours of discharge to evaluate well-being and answer questions about discharge instructions. An obstetric outpatient nurse, often the same nurse who was involved in the patient’s prenatal care, will call within 7-10 days of delivery to evaluate continued well-being, answer questions and help schedule follow-up visits, if necessary.

By coordinating multidisciplinary care throughout a patient’s stay at Mass General and her return home from the hospital, we strive to identify potential problems and address them before they affect a patient’s health, the health of her baby or the quality of their care.