IHI has a large portfolio of work in maternal and infant health around the world, including in the US, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.
For more than a decade, IHI has been a leader in improving perinatal safety in the United States, working with hospitals and health systems to prevent adverse events and obstetric harm, as well as to reduce primary cesarean section rates and early elective deliveries. The IHI-led Perinatal Improvement Community (2006 to 2015) was the longest-running continuous perinatal safety collaborative in the US and internationally.
In 2015, IHI began to focus more attention on addressing disparities in health outcomes for women and infants. Starting with the USA, where inequities in health and health care result in a threefold difference in outcomes between African American and white mothers (as well as infants), IHI has been developing a population approach to maternal and infant health. Our focus has been on reducing disparities in outcomes and reducing the rate of preterm birth for pregnant Medicaid beneficiaries.
Based on existing evidence and our own experience, we have found that single interventions, even if well studied, can impact segments of the population, but in and of themselves are not sufficient to benefit the health of the community as a whole. IHI's approach is to combine elements of specific evidence-based interventions as part of a comprehensive program.