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Advancing Maternal and Infant Health: One Database Can Illuminate the Entire Pregnancy Journey


Key takeaways:

  • HIPAA-compliant, standardized, longitudinal dataset that reveals the relationship between more mothers and their infants from prenatal to post-partum care.
  • Access insights into ambulatory and acute visits, plus laboratory, radiology, procedures, diagnoses and products utilized from prenatal to post-partum care.
  • Dataset is geographically diverse encompassing information from more than 450 facilities and can be linked to mortality and claims data.

For more on this topic:

If you had a chance to gain visibility into the maternal and infant relationship and generate real-world evidence to support clinical research and medical solution development, how would you use it to impact perinatal health?

Historically, pregnant people have been excluded from research studies due to ethical concerns about harming the fetus or increased risk to the mother. The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated this research gap on vaccine safety in pregnant people since many of the vaccine trials had excluded pregnant and lactating individuals opening the door for misunderstanding and misinformation to spread.

This left clinicians and patients with limited data on whether it was safe and effective for pregnant people to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and may have caused some individuals to put off vaccination during their pregnancy or while they were trying to conceive. This lack of vaccine safety data may have led to the more than 22,000 pregnant people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 and 161 maternal mortalities as of September 2021. In August 2021, following positive safety data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly encouraged pregnant individuals to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Maternal and infant harm isn’t coming from just lack of research involving pregnant and lactating individuals alone, but rather from a combination of factors. From advancing maternal age, maternal mortality, diabetes, obesity and heart disease to racial and ethnic disparities, there are a myriad of things to consider.

Maternal Age and Maternal Mortality is Increasing

In 2020, the CDC reported U.S. maternal mortality rates were 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, up from 20.1 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019. The maternal mortality rates increased in correlation with the maternal age and for individuals 40 years of age and older there were 107.9 deaths per 100,000 live births higher than for individuals under age 25 at 13.8 deaths per 100,000 live births.

As the average maternal age ticks upward and maternal mortality rates continue to increase, each death highlights the need for relevant data sources that can illuminate risk factors that contribute to maternal and infant harm.

Research efforts should be aimed at understanding risk factors associated with clinical conditions and diseases that impact health outcomes as well as identifying social determinants of health (SDOH) and disparities that contribute to maternal and infant deaths.

Pregnant people are more cautious about what they put into their bodies, from food to medications, they need clear data and strong recommendations from solid research. We must include them in future clinical studies to make strong evidence-based recommendations, recognize risk factors and better prepare for the next pandemic, if or when it happens.

Enter the PINC AI™ Maternal Health Database

Life sciences companies and health systems are seeking to do this through insights gained from pregnant and lactating populations. Yet, this ability to analyze maternal health outcomes that link maternal data to newborn data has been difficult to accomplish on a large-scale population until now. The PAS team has created the PINC AI Maternal Health Database that links mothers to their infants and can illuminate the entire pregnancy journey from prenatal follow-up to birth to post-partum.

The PINC AI Maternal Health Database provides actual maternal age, links encounters of mothers and their babies and enables access to more than three years of retrospective data, as well as future prospective data options.

Here are three ways life sciences companies can utilize the PINC AI Maternal Health Database to inform clinical research and evidence-based outcome improvement strategies.

  1. Generate real-world evidence and population-based analyses. This dataset helps researchers and clinicians identify existing health risks for birthing people and those resulting from pregnancy to prevent negative health impacts on both pregnant people and their infants. Linking the inpatient data of mothers and their infants allows researchers the opportunity to identify if direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality increase a newborn infant’s risk of lifelong morbidity and mortality. Researchers can use this comprehensive data to evaluate concomitant conditions, procedures, resource utilization, healthcare economics, clinical outcomes, and their impact on maternal and infant health to inform strategies to reduce maternal and infant harm.
  2. Study the patient journey from pregnancy to post-partum. The PINC AI™ Maternal Health Database provides researchers with longitudinal data that follows mothers and their infants in tandem and can illuminate the entire pregnancy journey from prenatal to post-partum and beyond. This linked data provides details such as actual maternal age, race, ethnicity, birth events and outcomes and can be linked with PINC AI claims data to generate actionable information that may inform evidence-based clinical practice.
  3. Advance health equity and improve outcomes. This HIPAA-compliant, maternal-infant linked data helps researchers and clinicians understand and address health equity by identifying racial, ethnic and geographical disparities in care to help develop strategies to reduce risks for pregnant people and infants most susceptible to poor health outcomes.

Protecting Maternal and Infant Health through Research

It goes without saying that maternal and infant health are a national priority for the U.S. and recently, the Biden-Harris Administration shared their blueprint to improve the health and wellbeing of birthing people and infants in America. This administration is taking important steps to accomplish this goal, including the launch of the Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Data and Analysis Initiative with Premier and a commitment to a proposed maternity care quality hospital designation.

In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized their new Maternal Morbidity Structural Measure that is aimed at ensuring health systems use evidence-based best practices across the continuum of care.

These designations, initiatives and measures are just the beginning of our efforts. We must work to ensure that future research includes pregnant and lactating populations to better understand the effects that medical solutions, vaccines and evidence-based clinical practices can have on mothers and their infants. Our efforts must be aimed at reducing maternal morbidity and mortality, reducing harm, driving clinical quality improvements, advancing health equity, and reducing disparities for all people giving birth.

The PINC AI Maternal Health Database, a de-identified, HIPAA-compliant database, is one part of the complex solution to addressing maternal and infant health. Connect with us today and learn how you can use this database to inform your research efforts, create evidence-based best practices and reduce the chances of maternal and infant harm.

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