Providing Safe, High-Quality Maternity Care in Rural US Hospitals

Laderman M, Renton M. Providing Safe, High-Quality Maternity Care in Rural US Hospitals. IHI Innovation Report. Boston, Massachusetts: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2020. (Available on

Significant disparities in health outcomes for individuals living in rural areas compared to urban areas in the United States are deeply rooted in socioeconomic and demographic factors, geography, and issues related to the health care workforce, among other factors. The challenges facing rural health care organizations and the patients they serve are particularly evident in maternity care.

This IHI Innovation Report examines the challenges and gaps that rural health care organizations in the US face; presents a synthesis of published evidence and effective approaches developed by clinicians and leaders; and describes potential strategies for providing safe, high-quality maternity care in rural areas.

While the report focuses primarily on clinical and operational strategies for health care organizations, it is important to situate these efforts as part of a larger transformation toward empowering women and improving maternal outcomes and experience for women in communities around the country.

The report includes:

  • Challenges for Rural Health Care in the US
  • Challenges for Maternity Care in Rural America
  • Strategies to Provide Safe, High-Quality Maternity Care in Rural Areas
  • Examples of Successful Models
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