Babies born before 39 weeks without medical or obstetrical indication can be at risk of neonatal morbidity and mortality. This phenomenon, known as early elective delivery (EED), continues to occur in some hospitals despite nationwide efforts to eliminate the practice. In response, the National Quality Forum convened a Maternity Action Team consisting of 24 leading experts, including Dean Coonrod, MD, MPH, from member hospital Maricopa Integrated Health System.

The team developed a Playbook for the Successful Elimination of Early Elective Deliveries, which offers guidance for ending EEDs, including the following:

  • an analysis of already existing successful techniques
  • barriers to reducing EEDs and monitoring progress, as well as strategies for overcoming those barriers
  • a comprehensive list of educational tools, resources, and models

Members of our Essential Hospitals Engagement Network (EHEN) have been working on eliminating EEDs as part of their work to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. See how two hospitals achieved this goal: