A Statewide Initiative
Albany Medical Center is proud to participate in the New York State Birth Equity Improvement Project, and is taking several steps to improve the experience of care and the obstetric outcomes for Black birthing people at our hospital, and across New York State.
In January 2021, the New York State Department of Health’s New York State Perinatal Quality Collaborative began the New York State Birth Equity Improvement Project - a comprehensive learning collaborative with New York birthing hospitals and centers to support the development of anti-racism policies and practices at the facility level. The statewide initiative has support from the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists District II, Healthcare Association of New York State, and Greater New York Hospital Association.
As part of Albany Medical Center's participation in the New York State Birth Equity Improvement Project, our goal is to identify how individual and systemic racism impacts birth outcomes at our hospital, and to take action to improve both the experience of care and perinatal outcomes of Black birthing people in the communities we serve.
Below are a few of the things we’re working on to help us meet our goals:
- Educating Albany Medical Center staff, who care for birthing people and newborns, about implicit bias and the impact of racism on outcomes.
- Working to decrease our rates of low-risk cesarean sections.
- Creating a Birth Place Patient Advisory Council (BPAC) to include the voices of patients and families in the planning and improvement of care.
- Working to improve communication and support patients and families, guided by results of anonymous patient surveys.
- Reviewing the Respectful Care Commitments with patients and staff (see below).
- Connecting with community partners such as doulas
Our Respectful Care Commitments to Every Birthing Person
- Treating you with dignity and respect through your hospital stay.
- Introducing ourselves and our role on your care team to you and your support persons, upon entering the room.
- Learning your goals for delivery and postpartum:
- What is important to you for labor and birth?
- What are your concerns regarding your birth experience?
- How can we best support you?
- Working to understand you, your background, your home life, and your health history so we can make sure you receive the care you need during your birth and recovery.
- Recognizing your prior experiences with health care may affect how you feel during birth. We will strive at all times to provide safe, equitable, and respectful care.
- Communicating effectively across your health care team to ensure the best care for you.
- Partnering with you for all decisions so that you can make choices that are right for you.
- Practicing active listening to ensure that you and your support persons are heard.
- Being ready to hear any concerns or ways that we can improve your care.
- Valuing personal boundaries and respecting your dignity and modesty at all times, including asking your permission before entering a room or touching you.
- Making sure you are discharged after delivery with an understanding of postpartum warning signs, where to call with concerns, and with postpartum follow-up care visits scheduled.
- Discharging you with the skills, support, and resources to care for yourself and your baby.
- Protecting your privacy and keeping your medical information confidential.
The Respectful Care Commitments to Every Birthing Person were developed by the New York State Perinatal Quality Collaborative (NYSPQC) team as part of the New York State Birth Equity Improvement Project (NYSBEIP).