March 18, 2010

An Interview with Childbirth Connection’s Carol Sakala

Medscape, a website from WebMD targeted primarily to healthcare providers and professionals, has just published an interesting interview with Carol Sakala, PhD, MSPH on the need to transform maternity care in the United States. Sakala is the Director of Programs for Childbirth Connection and co-author of the report, Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What it is and What it Can Achieve [PDF].

In it, Sakala discusses maternity care in the context of healthcare reform, noting the lack of focus on maternity care quality, outcomes, and value despite its “major role in the nation’s healthcare system.” She also addresses overused and underused interventions in maternity care; the need to have evidence-based practice guidelines based upon good quality studies rather than expert opinion; VBAC; provider and birth place choices; and barriers to transforming care.

Asked about her vision for the future of maternity healthcare, Sakala responded:

I’d like to answer this question by paraphrasing the final paragraph from the Transforming Maternity Care Vision paper, and I encourage Medscape readers to read that paper and the blueprint as well, and consider becoming involved in blueprint implementation.

In describing the vision, the Vision Team says that:
The 2020 Vision for a High-Quality, High-Value Maternity Care System will be actualized through concerted multi-stakeholder efforts ensuring that all women and babies are served by a maternity care system that delivers safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable, woman- and family-centered maternity care. The US will rank at the top among industrialized nations in key maternal and infant health indicators, and will achieve global recognition for its transformative leadership.

The whole interview is well worth a read for a good discussion of U.S. maternity care issues. Medscape requires a free registration in order to view the article. Readers may also be interested in Amnesty International’s recent report, “Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA.” [PDF]


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