FIMR and Infant Mortality
Infant mortality is a complex issue that impacts everyone and has been widely used as an indicator of a community’s overall health for decades.
As this picture shows, there are several interrelated factors that influence infant mortality. Each requires our attention as we work to improve the health of the women, infants, children and families in our community.
There are many reasons professionals study fetal and infant deaths:
- Health care providers: to implement peer review process;
- Institutions: to monitor overall compliance with policies and procedures;
- Medical Researchers: to develop insights into new medical treatments to prevent infant death; and,
- County and State Health Officers: to aggregate vital statistics to document and quantify causes of death.
The Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) enhances and complements all of these efforts. FIMR examines social, community and medical information in tandem, a combination of information not generally available through other efforts.
FIMR identifies strengths and areas for improvement in overall service systems and community resources for women, infants and families. FIMR also provides direction towards the changes in service systems and the development of new policies to safeguard them.
Benefits of Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR)
- a warning system that can describe effects of health care systems change;
- a method for implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI); and,
- a means to implement needs assessment, quality assurance and policy development as well as essential public health functions.
Valuable outcomes from the use of the FIMR methodology are:
- For the family experiencing a fetal or infant loss the FIMR interview process itself may help move them through the stages of grief and improve their ability to cope with the loss.
- For institutions and providers FIMR findings lead to improved quality of services; both duplication and gaps in services can be avoided.
- For communities, the FIMR process empowers the community to create solutions where none existed and can improve existing service systems and community resources for women, infants, children, and families.
FIMR is completely confidential:
- All information collected from medical records and the maternal interview is stored in locked files.
- All identifying information, (the patients’ names, the providers’ names, hospital/clinic sites) is removed prior to review by the CRT
- All case review team members and Coalition (project) staff are required to sign a pledge of confidentiality which prohibits them from discussing reviews outside team meetings.
The reviews themselves are closed to the public.
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