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Crouse Health Halts Preterm Labor and Birth

Babies born before 37 weeks are at risk for increased short- and long-term health problems and potential mortality—and U.S. preterm birth rates are on the rise. The reason for preterm labor and birth is not entirely known but can be managed using evidence-based practices. In 2018, Crouse Health initiated a collaborative program called H.A.L.T.T.: Hold All Labor ‘Til Term to streamline these practices.

H.A.L.T.T. team members designed a preterm labor management algorithm that breaks down specific pathways based on assessment findings and the patient’s gestational age. Nurses, midwives and providers were educated on the algorithm to promote understanding, consistency and adherence. The program works to clarify and expedite confirmation of preterm labor and initiate vital interventions to improve outcomes. It also works to aid in ruling out preterm labor; this allows hospital staff to reassure patients and avoid administering unnecessary treatment, hospital admissions and long triage times.

Data collected during the year revealed increases in the use of diagnosis and risk assessment tools and timely interventions. Triage time decreased by 48% (2.8 fewer hours) and progesterone delivery increased by 59.1% at obstetrical offices. The preterm birth rate has decreased by 3.2% and further reduction is expected as the program continues.

For more information, contact Amanda Martin, RNC, BSN, Project Coordinator, Crouse Health, at (315) 470-7429 or at amandamartin@crouse.org.