Timely hospital quality information can help expectant mothers make decisions about labor and delivery and communicate more effectively with providers about their care preferences and concerns, according to the authors of a new AHRQ study. The authors used a randomized controlled trial to test the use of email and texts to deliver pertinent information timed to the specific week of the pregnancy. The biweekly messages directed the mothers to a website that provided videos and articles about quality information, tools to help them communicate with their providers, and ratings of local hospitals and pregnant women’s experiences at the hospitals. Participants became better informed about medical procedures, such as cesarean sections and episiotomies; discussed the information with family; and sought further information. They used the material to prepare for visits to doctors and midwives and to create a birth plan. The authors found that the timed dissemination of information was successful in getting the women to use it to inform and improve their care. The article, “Increasing the Use of Comparative Quality Information in Maternity Care: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial,” was published in the journal Medical Care Research and Review. Access the abstract.
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