Addressing the US Maternal Health Crisis: Your role in the ONC USCDI+ Maternal Health Dataset

Leonie Misquitta | June 27, 2024

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among high-income countries. To address this maternal health crisis, there has been an increased focus on improving health outcomes related to pregnancy and making maternal health a national priority. This is reflected in national maternal health initiatives, like the White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis. Goal 3 of the Blueprint focuses on advancing data collection, standardization, harmonization, transparency, and research.

Interoperable data is critical to ensuring clinicians and patients can receive key health data during the maternal health period. Without it, clinicians, scientists, and policymakers do not have all the necessary data to understand the root causes behind severe maternal morbidity and mortality rates. That’s where health IT, such as electronic health records (EHRs), comes into play. By harnessing the data that EHRs and other health systems provide and developing the necessary health IT standards to improve data exchange, we can enhance maternal healthcare delivery, fuel research efforts, and shape more effective health policies.

ONC Efforts to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes

ONC and other government agencies are managing initiatives to tackle our country’s maternal health challenges. Over the last 20 years, ONC has been dedicated to improving the capture of electronic health data and fostering health information exchange. However, there’s still a need for a standardized approach to maternal and infant health data collection and exchange to ensure data is consistent and supports holistic patient care.

In 2023, ONC released the Interoperability of Maternity Care Records: Best Practices Informational Resources. This document focuses on the functionalities and standards that maternal healthcare providers may leverage in health IT to support the safe and effective healthcare of pregnant persons as part of peri- and post-natal care and to advance the interoperability (capture, exchange, and use) of this health data.

Recognizing the need to further specify maternal health data needs, ONC, in collaboration with other federal partners, has launched the USCDI+ Maternal Health domain to establish the datasets necessary to support high-quality maternal care, equitable outcomes, maternal health research, and maternal public health initiatives. The USCDI+ Maternal Health domain aims to standardize data collected in diverse formats and vocabularies crucial for healthcare, research, and public health endeavors.

This draft data set available for public comment reflects partner suggestions we received to include data classes for Lactation, Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, and Interventions. It also includes a wide range of information exchange and terminology standards intended to drive standardization and analysis.  We seek additional input on these value sets and standards.

Your Feedback Matters!

Clinicians, public health leaders, technology developers, researchers, and innovators play a vital role in shaping the future of maternal healthcare. By providing insights on data classes and elements, you can contribute to creating a more equitable and respectful maternal health ecosystem. Make your voice heard by participating in the feedback process and helping drive positive change in maternal health.

ONC seeks feedback on the USCDI+ Maternal Health dataset by July 31, 2024 and we encourage use of these framing questions to help guide your input – see questions here. To share your thoughts or submit data elements, log in to the USCDI+ platform and click on the USCDI+ Maternal Health domain. Additional resources, including guides and documentation, can be accessed from the USCDI+ platform homepage. Please direct any questions to

Stay tuned for updates and upcoming listening sessions where your input can make a real difference. Together we can work towards a healthier future for parents and their children.