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Postpartum Discharge Education Program
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The Need

The postpartum period  is a critical time to ensure women and their newborns are healthy. It is important to closely monitor a woman’s health during this recovery time – especially if she experienced complications during pregnancy or childbirth – as nearly half of maternal deaths occur during the first days and weeks after childbirth. The most common preventable causes of severe maternal morbidity and maternal mortality include obstetric hemorrhage, severe hypertension, venous thromboembolism, infection and cardiac disease. Even healthy women who give birth are at risk for these complications.

When a woman is discharged from the hospital, she may either receive so much information that she becomes overwhelmed (e.g., pamphlets, flyers, samples), or she may receive very limited “mother-focused” information on what health changes she can expect after childbirth.  In either scenario, the reality is that many women do not receive consistent messages and adequate guidance about how to identify warning signs and symptoms of complications, or instructions on when, where and how to obtain necessary medical attention in the days and weeks following childbirth. 

Increasing the number of women who recognize potential life-threatening post-birth warning signs that can occur after hospital discharge and educating them on when to obtain immediate medical attention can save lives.  

AWHONN’s Postpartum Discharge Education Implementation Community 

AWHONN has developed a standard approach to postpartum discharge education provided by nurses during the hospital stay.  The program includes online education on maternal morbidity and mortality and how to deliver consistent messages about warning signs that can signal serious complications. The course also provides a discharge education checklist that includes points for nurses and a handout for all mothers to take home. The Implementation Community focuses on strategies for implementing this teaching n the hospital setting and integrating these tools into the hospital’s electronic medical record.

Currently, AWHONN is seeking hospital-based nurse champions who work with postpartum women to join our Implementation Community who agree to:

  1. Ensure that nurses who teach postpartum discharge education in their facility complete the postpartum discharge online education module (CNE credit available)
  2. Begin integration of the Postpartum Discharge Education Program tools in their facility's electronic medical record (EMR) (there is no time limit on when implementation must be complete)
  3. Participate in calls every other month with AWHONN and other Implementation Community leaders for a period of 6 months.  Calls will be held on the following days:
  • Informational webinar:  Wednesday, December 1, 2016 Time TBD.
    You can sign up here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7293386458374794753
  • Orientation call:  Wednesday, February 22, 2017
  • Call #1:  Wednesday, April 26, 2017
  • Call #2:  Wednesday, June  21, 2017
  • Call #3:  Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Members of the Implementation Community will help assess successes and challenges and identify best practices that facilitate implementation of the Postpartum Discharge Education Program in hospital maternity services. 

 

Additional Questions?

Please contact: 
Mitty Songer 
Associate Director of Product Sales
(304) 550-3984
msonger@awhonn.org
  
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Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

AWHONN is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP580. Accredited status does not imply endorsement by AWHONN or the American Nurses Credentialing Center of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with educational activities.

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