Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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Statewide Initiatives

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39 Week Initiative

DHH and several partners seek to end non-medically indicated deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation in Louisiana's birthing hospitals. BOI has partnered with the Louisiana State Medical Society, the Louisiana Hospital Association, and the Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to facilitate hospital sign on to the Secretary's 39 week letter. In addition, malpractice carrier LAMMICO will grant members premium reductions with participation in 39 week trainings.  Fifteen of the largest volume hospitals in Louisiana are being given the tools through membership to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to implement these policies and BOI has done a statewide survey of existing policies for reference and review.


Less than 39 weeks toolkit

In 2010, the Joint Commission established a new perinatal care core measure set that includes the number of elective deliveries (both vaginal and cesarean) performed at > 37 and < 39 weeks of gestation completed. In order to support hospitals in eliminating non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks, March of Dimes, California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), and the California Department of Health, Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Division collaborated on the development of a quality improvement toolkit.  The new toolkit, entitled Elimination of Non-medically Indicated (Elective) Deliveries Before 39 Weeks Gestational Age; Quality Improvement Toolkit includes:

Making the Case:  A comprehensive literature review about the importance of eliminating elective deliveries before 39 weeks.

  • Implementation: A step-by-step guide to assist hospital leaders with implementation efforts.
  • Data Collection and Quality Improvement: A guide for measuring and tracking QI effectiveness over time.
  • Clinician and Patient Education: Educational tools for clinicians and staff about consequences of early elective delivery; educational tools for patients about the importance of the last weeks of pregnancy.
  • Appendices: Sample Forms, Hospital Case Studies, QI Implementation Tools, Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Methodology, Implementation Resources and References.

Additional Information

March of Dimes Medical Resources

Listing of Hospitals that have signed up for the 39 Week Initiative