Abstract Title

SWOT Analysis and Evaluation of Maternal Mortality Surveillance Systems in the United States and Texas

Presenter Name

Sarah Paetz

RAD Assignment Number

1118

Abstract

Maternal mortality is a global problem, and the rate in the United States continues to rise. In 1986, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began surveillance of maternal mortality in the U.S. using the pregnancy mortality surveillance system. Maternal mortality has many complicated causes, which has led to varying definitions and forms of measurement, which are not standard across regions within the U.S. or worldwide. For example, the state of Texas reports a different maternal mortality rate than the CDC, because they use a different definition to classify maternal mortality. In Texas, maternal mortality is classified as the death of a woman during pregnancy and up to 365 days after delivery. According to Lee (2010), public health surveillance evaluation involves describing the importance of a system, describing its purpose and operation, understanding the components of the system, resources, and gathering credible evidence regarding the performance of the system. The purpose of this study is to perform an evaluation like the one described, using a SWOT analysis to better understand each system of maternal mortality surveillance. A SWOT analysis helps to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a system or intervention to assist with future planning and development. A review of literature and information on surveillance systems from publicly available information from the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services were used to conduct the SWOT analysis. Although analysis and evaluation is ongoing, preliminary strengths of the systems include acceptability, timeliness, and flexibility, while weaknesses include representativeness, simplicity, and data quality. An opportunity for the systems is that the concern for high maternal mortality rates is gaining momentum and stakeholder involvement, especially in Texas where rates of pregnancy-associated mortality are especially high. Threats found thus far include potential uptake of best practices, finding financial resources, and the overall focus of society and the medical community on infant/fetal health resources rather than maternal health concerns. Overall, as with any system, there is room for improvement. Most importantly in this system is to reconcile differences to portray an accurate depiction of the burden of maternal mortality within and outside of the United States through the adoption of standard definitions and practices to measure maternal deaths.

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Research Area

General Public Health

Presentation Type

Poster

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SWOT Analysis and Evaluation of Maternal Mortality Surveillance Systems in the United States and Texas

Maternal mortality is a global problem, and the rate in the United States continues to rise. In 1986, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began surveillance of maternal mortality in the U.S. using the pregnancy mortality surveillance system. Maternal mortality has many complicated causes, which has led to varying definitions and forms of measurement, which are not standard across regions within the U.S. or worldwide. For example, the state of Texas reports a different maternal mortality rate than the CDC, because they use a different definition to classify maternal mortality. In Texas, maternal mortality is classified as the death of a woman during pregnancy and up to 365 days after delivery. According to Lee (2010), public health surveillance evaluation involves describing the importance of a system, describing its purpose and operation, understanding the components of the system, resources, and gathering credible evidence regarding the performance of the system. The purpose of this study is to perform an evaluation like the one described, using a SWOT analysis to better understand each system of maternal mortality surveillance. A SWOT analysis helps to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a system or intervention to assist with future planning and development. A review of literature and information on surveillance systems from publicly available information from the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services were used to conduct the SWOT analysis. Although analysis and evaluation is ongoing, preliminary strengths of the systems include acceptability, timeliness, and flexibility, while weaknesses include representativeness, simplicity, and data quality. An opportunity for the systems is that the concern for high maternal mortality rates is gaining momentum and stakeholder involvement, especially in Texas where rates of pregnancy-associated mortality are especially high. Threats found thus far include potential uptake of best practices, finding financial resources, and the overall focus of society and the medical community on infant/fetal health resources rather than maternal health concerns. Overall, as with any system, there is room for improvement. Most importantly in this system is to reconcile differences to portray an accurate depiction of the burden of maternal mortality within and outside of the United States through the adoption of standard definitions and practices to measure maternal deaths.