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ACNM Data Collection Project FAQs

Why is ACNM working
on a new data collection project?

ACNM members and leadership have had a strong commitment to
data collection for many years, and in 1997 began the ACNM Benchmarking Project
which has grown considerably in recent years. The growth of the Benchmarking
Project is impressive, and the imperative for quality measurement is building.
This project will allow improvements in the way data is collected for
Benchmarking and for other projects. It's critical that ACNM invest in infrastructure
to improve the quality of outcomes reporting by CNMs and CMs to fully leverage
the opportunities in our evolving health care system. These opportunities
include participating in quality improvement initiatives, developing new
evidence to guide practice and shared decision making, taking advantage of new
payment models that reward high-quality, high-value care, and meeting reporting

How is this project
different from the ACNM Benchmarking Project?

The ACNM Benchmarking Project relies on aggregate data-totals
and rates describing a practice's caseload for an entire year. With this
project, ACNM is moving toward so-called "patient-level" data collection, that
is, data that are collected and contributed one woman at a time. Like the ACNM
Benchmarking Project, patient-level data can support quality improvement
initiatives. However, patient-level data have many more potential uses.

How does ACNM plan to
use the data?

ACNM plans to use the data to support members' quality
improvement/quality assurance activities, midwifery research, and ACNM's
advocacy efforts, including efforts to improve access to and payment for
midwifery care. ACNM is exploring further use of the data to report to state
and federal performance reporting programs.

How is ACNM
partnering with other organizations on this project?

ACNM has chosen a vendor, Maternity Neighborhood, that
already hosts the American Association of Birth Centers Perinatal Data
Registry. The goal is to enable data to flow simultaneously into both data
sets, and to develop data standards that enable research studies across birth
settings and practice models. Discussions are underway to enable exchange and
aggregation of data with MANAStats via the Maternity Neighborhood platform, as

The first stage of the project was enabled by matching
funding from the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) with an aim of extending
the reach of registry participation beyond ACNM members and providing a more
accurate "data picture" of midwifery in the United States.

ACNM is also participating with multiple professional
societies and stakeholders in the ACOG-sponsored Women's Health Registry
Alliance, working with a common mission to "improve women's health outcomes
through collaboration in use and development of multiple databases and
registries." Finally, ACNM has joined the Obstetric Health Information
Initiative, sponsored by the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, to work toward
common standards for data and clinical content in electronic health records

What is the Maternity

Maternity Neighborhood is a mission-driven digital health
company working to improve maternity care. Co-founded by a midwife, the company
launched its first product, the Private Practice EHR in 2011, which won
recognition as one of the top 50 Health IT innovations in 2012 by the Institute
of Medicine. In addition to developing a growing suite of products to support
clinical care and practice management, Maternity Neighborhood has developed a
secure data platform to enable partners to share data for multiple uses,
including research and quality improvement. In 2013, the company contracted to
become the technology partner for the American Association of Birth Centers
"Strong Start" grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
(CMS), and migrated AABC's Perinatal Data Registry (PDR) to the platform.

Also in 2013, Maternity Neighborhood completed a Technology
Development Plan for patient-level data collection, storage, and analysis of outcomes
by Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Midwives (CMs). The 3-month
project involved key informant interviews with internal and external
stakeholders; a survey of the ACNM membership exploring attitudes about and use
of health IT and participation in data collection; analysis of relevant
research, reports, legislation, and commentaries to identify trends and factors
in the broader landscape; and a day-long workshop with ACNM leaders. The
Technology Development Plan is available at
Interested members can learn more about Maternity Neighborhood at

What about privacy
and data security?

ACNM chose Maternity Neighborhood in part because their data
platform already meets stringent federal standards for health care data
security. ACNM and Maternity Neighborhood are currently evaluating best
practice for additional privacy and security requirements for the various
potential uses of registry data, including quality reporting, querying, and
research uses. ACNM and Maternity Neighborhood will implement protections,
policies, and a governance structure that protect ACNM, the clinicians
participating in the registry, and, most importantly, the women and babies
contributing their data.

Will I need to use a
specific EHR or buy products from Maternity Neighborhood to contribute data to

No. Maternity Neighborhood will host the registry and
provide other services to ACNM, but midwives will not be required to purchase
anything from Maternity Neighborhood in order to participate. The registry will
eventually be able to accept data directly from EHRs and other digital tools,
including but not limited to products
developed by Maternity Neighborhood.

When will the ACNM
data registry be ready to use?

Achieving the vision of the 2013 Technical Development
Strategy will be a long-term, multi-year endeavor. We expect the project to
continue to evolve based on the changing landscape and the ability to leverage
other projects undertaken on the Maternity Neighborhood platform, which
complement ACNM's project and help to reduce our overall cost, while also
enhancing interoperability between midwifery data collection systems. ACNM is
currently engaged in the first phase of work with Maternity Neighborhood, which
involves designing the data collection and analytics workflows, establishing
standards for data definitions and attribution, and other critical groundwork.

How can I learn more
about this during the Annual Meeting?

Interested members can learn more at the Maternity
Neighborhood Exhibit Hall booth #203 during exhibit hours, or at the session,
"The National Quality Movement and
Midwifery: Get on the Bus or be Left Behind
" on Thursday May 15, 1:00 -
2:00PM in Governor's Square 14. Anyone interested in midwifery data collection
is also invited to join Maternity Neighborhood staff for an informal gathering
at a local Mexican restaurant on Wednesday evening, May 14. Conference
attendees can come by the Maternity Neighborhood exhibit booth for details.

American College of Nurse-Midwives
8403 Colesville Rd. Ste. 1550 Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 240.485.1800 Fax: 240.485.1818
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