The First Clinical Practice Guideline Released by ACOG + What is the AIM Bundle?

By Joy Burkhard, MBA 

This February, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which facilitates the Alliance for Innovation in Maternity Care (AIM) re-released the Perinatal Mental Health AIM “Bundle” and this June released the first Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) for maternal mental health.

Perinatal Mental Health Clinical Practice Guideline 

The CPG includes recommendations on:

  • Screening and diagnosis of perinatal mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, acute postpartum psychosis, and the symptom of suicidality.

Recommendations are classified or graded by research strength and quality. Ungraded “Good Practice Points” are included to provide guidance when a formal recommendation could not be made because of inadequate or nonexistent evidence.

ACOG members can access the guideline through the ACOG member portal. Others can purchase this guideline and other clinical resources.

Learn more about the CPG development process and access the guideline here.

Perinatal Mental Health “AIM Bundle” 

The Federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) contracts with ACOG to administer the AIM program. 

The goal of the AIM program is to improve the quality of care in U.S. maternity care hospitals by creating actionable steps or “bundles” to improve outcomes. A bundle includes actionable steps that can be adapted to a variety of facilities and resource levels.

In February, the perinatal mental health bundle was re-released along with measures (HEDIS), allowing this set of recommendations to be considered a core or primary bundle, which is designed to address the leading known causes of preventable severe maternal morbidity and mortality in the U.S.

The Policy Center was involved in shaping the new bundle, including influencing the screening time frame recommendations. We also served on an expert committee to develop measure recommendations and advocated for the use of the new HEDIS measures, in outpatient settings.