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Maternal mortality rate in Utah per 100,000 births

Current Value

15.3

2020

Definition

DEFINITION: Maternal mortality is a general term referring to the death of a woman during pregnancy or within a year of the end of pregnancy. A pregnancy-related death is defined as the death of a woman during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a pregnancy complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy. A pregnancy-associated, but not related death is the death of a woman during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a cause that is not related to pregnancy. The pregnancy-related mortality ratio is the number of pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births.

Numerator: Number of pregnancy-related deaths per year Denominator: Total number of live births per year

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Measure Definition

This measure of maternal mortality rate data reflects pregnancy-related deaths in Utah. A pregnancy-related death is the death of a woman during pregnancy or within 1 year after the pregnancy from a pregnancy complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.

The pregnancy-related mortality ratio is the number of pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births. The final determination about whether a death is pregnancy-related is made by the Utah Perinatal Mortality Review Committee. Because the total number of maternal deaths is low, the change in categorization for even 1 death can affect the mortality rate significantly.

Source: OVRS, NVSS (https://ibis.health.utah.gov/ibisph-view/indicator/complete_profile/MatMort.html)

Story Behind the Curve

Every maternal death is a tragedy. These losses leave a lasting hole in the fabric of their family and community. The leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths in Utah are suicide, overdose, and cardiomyopathy. Keeping a close watch on maternal mortality shows us ways to improve health, health behaviors, and healthcare before, during, and after pregnancy. Surveillance also identifies gaps in the healthcare system, social services, healthcare access, and the quality of prenatal and postnatal care. 

Partners

Maternal mortality prevention efforts are supported by the multidisciplinary Utah Perinatal Mortality Review Committee, the Utah Women and Newborns Quality Collaborative (UWNQC), birthing facilities, care providers, state and local health departments, and community partners.  

What Works

Preventing the death of a mother is complex. Prevention opportunities can include improved access to quality prenatal and postpartum care, access to specialty care, mental health care, and substance use disorder treatment. 

The Utah Women and Newborns Quality Collaborative (UWNQC) uses a data-informed approach to identify and implement prevention activities. One of these activities includes hospitals' efforts to implement patient safety bundles developed by the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) to address the leading causes of maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity. Patient safety bundles are an evidence-based and a structured way to improve the processes of care and patient outcomes.

Strategy

The Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) conducts ongoing maternal mortality surveillance through the Perinatal Mortality Review program. 

The Power Your Life Power Your Health campaign provides public education about the importance of planning for pregnancy, preconception, and interconception health. 

The Utah Women and Newborns Quality Collaborative (UWNQC) uses a data-informed approach to address issues of quality improvement in maternal and infant healthcare.

The Utah Maternal Mental Health Referral Network is a directory, designed and maintained by DHHS, of professionals and support groups who have training in perinatal mental health. The website allows visitors who are looking for a provider to search by county, provider type, type of insurance accepted, and whether they provide virtual options.

Clear Impact Suite is an easy-to-use, web-based software platform that helps your staff collaborate with external stakeholders and community partners by utilizing the combination of data collection, performance reporting, and program planning.

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