Full Term for a Healthy Baby:Raising Patient and Public Awareness of the Risks of Early Term Birth
This site, developed by VHA Inc. as part of its work as a Hospital Engagement Network (HEN), provides a collection of vetted resources and educational materials created by national leaders in maternal care on reducing early elective delivery (EED). Information is intended for use by healthcare professionals, marketing/public relations staff and administrators to assist in planning and executing customized awareness programs to educate patients and community members about the risks associated with EED within their local market.
Why the Need for EED Reduction Awareness?
Healthcare organizations nationwide are taking a leading role in reducing birth complications by lowering EED rates. In fact, many hospitals and health systems have implemented reduction plans and policies such as ‘hard stops’ that improve the health of babies by preventing deliveries before 39 weeks gestation that are not medically necessary. Scientific and clinical evidence clearly shows that babies are healthier if pregnancies are carried at least to full gestational term, which is 39 weeks/0 days to 40 weeks/6 days.
While reduction plans and policies can reduce EED, patients and the community also need to know about the benefits of full term delivery and the potential risks of early elective delivery. This knowledge is a critical part of reducing the demand for EED. When patients know the facts, they make better decisions about their deliveries, leading to healthier babies and moms.
Find easy-to-use, free tools and resources here:
- Getting Started: Provider and staff checklist for planning and implementing a patient education and community outreach program. Download.
- Patient Education Tools: Materials about the risks of EED in multiple languages; VHA-created materials can be downloaded and customized with a healthcare organization’s logo and contact information.
- Reaching the Community:Ideas and tips for media, social media, events and advertising tactics to share your message with the broader community. Also included are practical tips on building community advisory boards or coalitions.
- Resources for Clinicians:Published research and scientific evidence, third-party fact sheets and additional information on the medical risks associated with EED for clinician and staff background and education.
- About VHA: Information about VHA Inc. and its work to reduce early elective deliveries.