Early Elective Deliveries

CMQCC has been in the forefront of national efforts to reduce elective deliveries before 39 weeks gestational age. These elective deliveries, unless medically necessary, lead to preventable Neonatal Intensive Care admissions and increased long-term health risks for newborns – including respiratory complications, sepsis and hypoglycemia – with no known benefits to the mother or newborn.

Together with the March of Dimes and the California Department of Public Health, Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Division, CMQCC produced a quality improvement toolkit, Elimination of Non-medically Indicated (Elective) Deliveries Before 39 Weeks Gestational Age: A California Toolkit to Transform Maternity Care. The goals of the toolkit were to determine best practices for prevention of early deliveries and to outline the most effective strategies for supporting California health care providers in implementing those practices. 

The National Quality Forum also developed a related publication, the Playbook for the Successful Elimination of Early Elective Deliveries, to help hospitals implement strategies to reduce early elective deliveries. 

Both are available to download in the Toolkits section of our website. Following the release of the toolkit and playbook, an additional 8 percent of births were reported as making it to full term in California -- with 120,000 early births prevented from 2009 – 2014.