FHCQ is a non-profit, neutral entity that houses a suite of programs centered around quality improvement and patient safety, including the OB Care Outcomes Assessment Program (OB COAP) and Smooth Transitions. Since its inception in 2010, OB COAP has included data on community births in Washington – specifically, data submitted by members of the Midwives’ Association of WA State (MAWS). At the time, many licensed midwives in Washington were already voluntarily contributing their data to MANA Stats, a national midwifery data repository.
In 2014, data collection became mandatory for licensed midwives in Washington as a condition for licensure renewal. Recognizing the value of having data on planned home and birth center outcomes captured in the same database as hospital data, but seeking to reduce the data burden on community midwives, MAWS entered into a data-sharing agreement with the MANA Division of Research and FHCQ that allowed MAWS member data to be exported from MANA Stats into OB COAP. There are now over 14,000 community birth records in OB COAP, and the OB COAP Management Committee includes two members of the LM community.