On March 20, 2012 the Ontario Premier and the Minister of Health announced funding for two freestanding, midwifery-led birth centres as part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care. One of the goals identified in the Action Plan is to move services outside of hospitals (with the assurance of continued high-quality care) to provide the “Right Care at the Right Time in the Right Place.”
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) asked BORN Ontario to develop and perform both an economic evaluation of the birth centres as well as an evaluation of the quality of care provided. In response, the BORN-led Birth Centre Evaluation Working Group was formed in November of 2012. The group is comprised of experts in midwifery care, education and research, evaluation, epidemiology, nursing, obstetrics, consumer preferences/client experience, and aboriginal midwifery. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is also represented by members involved in midwifery at the level of provincial policy analysis and planning. Initial efforts focused on developing a framework for the evaluation and establishing how the BORN Information System could be adapted to meet the needs of both the facilities themselves and the evaluation.
Two birth centres opened in January of 2014 – one in Ottawa, one in Toronto. The evaluation project is currently underway, using both quantitative and qualitative methods to address four target areas: 1) clinical activities and outcomes; 2) client experiences; 3) provider experiences and integration into the maternal-child health community, and 4) economic feasibility.
Data collection was completed in February of 2015 and analysis is ongoing.
For more information on:
- The evaluation plan for the Birth Centre Demonstration Project in Ontario: Please contact Dana Sidney at BORN Ontario