Fostering a patient-focused approach to maternal health care in Florida

UnitedHealthcare of Florida’s health plan provided a $75,000 grant to the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative. The grant supports the collaborative’s Mother-Focused Care initiative, helping hospitals improve maternity care by focusing on the mother, her needs, her family, and her experience

Housed at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative is a statewide partnership to assist hospitals and providers in improving maternal health outcomes in the state.

The Mother-Focused Care initiative is assisting hospitals in transforming their culture and environment to respectfully serve all mothers and their families and help them to meet their health and social care needs. Participating hospitals are:

  1. Learning about the social drivers of the health of the patients they serve and related health outcomes.
  2. Learning, defining, committing to and implementing their respectful care pledge and receiving regular patient feedback.
  3. Screening for social care needs and arranging a care plan with the necessary referrals/arrangements.
  4. Involving patients and consumer representatives on their initiative quality improvement (QI) team. 

As part of the grant, funds are being used to facilitate collaboration between Florida Healthy Start Coalitions (HSCs) and participating hospitals in two major areas where the hospitals need community assistance. First, HSCs, working with participating hospitals, are hosting anonymous listening individual or group sessions with mothers from diverse populations about their recent maternity care experiences. This provides mothers a safe place to speak up. These recordings will be used with the hospital providers and staff to help motivate change and promote respectful care while protecting the mothers. 

Secondly, the initiative is helping participating hospitals and HSCs establish solid communication pathways at the community level that will enable close working relationships between the partners long-term. This includes collaborating to enhance, strengthen and broaden the hospitals’ community resource referrals to cover the multifarious social drivers of health for families living in the wide variety of neighborhoods in the hospital’s catchment area. 

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