Northeast Georgia Medical Center Participating in National Collaborative to Help Improve Obstetric Patient Safety

Published: Thursday, August 14, 2014

Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is joining a multi-year initiative launched by the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) to help improve the treatment of pregnancy-related complications.  The initiative focuses on improving the treatment of obstetric hemorrhage (bleeding too much during childbirth) – one of the leading causes of death during labor and delivery.

AWHONN’S Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH) Project has invited 54 birthing hospitals in Georgia and New Jersey to help assess and improve clinical practices.  Additional hospitals in the District of Columbia are expected to join the PPH Project later this year.

“We’re honored to participate in this initiative for improving pregnancy and delivery care for women and their newborns,” says Bridgette Schulman, labor and delivery clinical educator at NGMC.  “The AWHONN collaboration aligns with our deepest commitment to patient safety.  We always look for ways to not only improve our care, but also to help other hospitals and care providers do the same.”           

Women in the United States experience greater risk of death from pregnancy-related complications than women in 46 other countries.  While two to three women die every day in the U.S. from pregnancy-related complications, more than half of these deaths are preventable. 

Incidents of obstetric hemorrhage have increased in recent years along with an overuse of inductions of labor, and research suggests women who have inductions of labor have a greater risk of experiencing postpartum hemorrhage.  Between 1999 and 2009, the number of women who received blood transfusions during and immediately after childbirth increased by 183 percent.  African American women are disproportionately affected by birthing complications with three to four times more deaths than women of all other racial and ethnic groups.

“While we have not seen these high numbers of maternal deaths within our organization, we feel it is important to actively participate in helping improve these statistics,” says Sara Dyer, director of Women and Children’s Services at NGMC.

“As a part of this collaborative, we will help identify clinical best practices for treating postpartum hemorrhage and work with national experts to share this knowledge,” says Jason Bailey, MD, an OB/GYN with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Lakeside OB/GYN and one of the physician champions of the program.

AWHONN’s PPH Project is supported by a grant from Merck for Mothers and is designed to:

  • Increase clinician recognition of women at greatest risk of obstetric hemorrhage and early recognition of women who are bleeding too much.
  • Increase the readiness of clinical team preparedness to successfully respond to and treat obstetric hemorrhage.
  • Improve clinician response to obstetric hemorrhage.

Additional practice improvements include identifying barriers that prevent successful treatment of obstetric hemorrhage, sharing best clinical practices and identifying how to more effectively implement similar improvements in all hospitals in the U.S.

NGMC’s nationally recognized obstetric services are provided in a state-of-the-art Women & Children’s Pavilion with a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  NGMC is also Georgia’s #1 Women’s Hospital, according to CareChex®.  For more information, visit, or call 770-219-1495.



The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is the foremost nursing authority that advances the health care of women and newborns through advocacy, research and the creation of high quality, evidence-based standards of care.  AWHONN strives to represent the interests of 350,000 registered nurses working in women's health, obstetric and neonatal nursing nationwide.

AWHONN's 24,000 members worldwide are clinicians, educators and executives who serve as patient care advocates focusing on the needs of women and infants.  A leader in professional development, AWHONN holds the distinction of receiving the Premier Program award by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for innovation and excellence in Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) three times.

Founded in 1969 as the Nurses Association of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the association became a separate nonprofit organization called the Association of Women's Health and Neonatal Nurses in 1993.