Regionalized Perinatal Care: An Evidence-Based Intervention in Development
Regionalized perinatal care is an on-going effort to systematically organize and coordinate health care for expectant mothers and newborns. In the 1960s and 1970s, academic clinicians and public health experts pioneered regionalized perinatal services in response to new neonatal care technologies and expanding but still limited expertise (Committee on Perinatal Health, 1976; Graven, Howe, & Callon, 1976). By design, regionalization prioritizes the distribution of clinical care and technologies to women and infants according to risk. The spectrum of regionalized services ideally spans from preconception planning to infant health, although the concept is more commonly associated with the inpatient obstetric and neonatal services that women and infants receive in the hours and days surrounding birth. This chapter provides an evidence-based evaluation of regionalized perinatal care, its role and potential to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in perinatal outcomes, and illustrates the need for a broader implementation if its goals are to be fully realized.
KeywordsNeonatal Mortality Rate Perinatal Outcome Ethnic Disparity Expectant Mother Perinatal Care
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