Providence launches innovative approach to enhance patient experience during labor and delivery

Providence is launching a new initiative called TeamBirth to enhance the birthing experience and improve outcomes for people giving birth and their babies. 

TeamBirth focuses on collective communication, so all people involved, including birthing people, their support person, and their care team, share the same understanding throughout the process. TeamBirth provides laboring people with an even safer, more dignified childbirth experience.

Providence Holy Family Hospital Family Maternity Center was the first hospital in Spokane to adopt this new method when it launched in May. The Birth Place at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital Family Maternity Center are pilot sites for this program within the Providence health care system.

“Research tells us that effective communication between a care team and their patients is key to safe childbirth,” said Val Higginbotham, Providence women’s and children’s service line director. “We have always worked to communicate well with our patients, but we have quickly learned how effective this model can be to improve both communication and birth outcomes.”

A central component of the TeamBirth model is a shared whiteboard located in all labor and delivery rooms that outlines care plans and progress for the patient and the baby. The care team and patient complete the whiteboard together and update it regularly. Some examples of elements listed on the whiteboard include whether a patient wants an epidural, if the patient would like to breastfeed, and what time the next team huddle will be.

The full care team and the patient meet frequently throughout labor and delivery to make sure everyone is aware of the patient’s preferences, symptoms, and experiences and to set clear expectations.

Ariadne Labs developed and rigorously tested the TeamBirth model as part of its Delivery Decisions Initiative, a research and social impact program focused on transforming childbirth care around the world. TeamBirth has been implemented in more than 28 hospitals around the country. 

“All people who give birth deserve to have a safe, dignified experience. TeamBirth is an evidence-based approach to turn this vision into a reality,” said Amber Weiseth, DNP, MSN, RNC-OB, Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs. “We are excited to collaborate with Providence to ensure that the patient voice is central to all decisions in labor and delivery. We hope to see this model continue to spread to ensure the best possible care experience for every patient, everywhere.” 

Take a tour of our Family Maternity Center at Providence Holy Family Hospital here.