Fetal and Infant Mortality Review
Fetal and Infant Mortality Reviews (FIMR) were established in the 1980s as a pilot project in five urban communities and then became for a time a requirement of federally funded Healthy Start programs in communities with high infant mortality rates. The primary purpose of FIMR is to improve systems of care for women and infants to reduce deaths. Several key components of the FIMR model distinguish it from other reviews: the infant and mother are always de-identified, a complete abstract of the mother’s and infant’s medical history is completed and used at reviews, and a home interview is often conducted with the mother.
FIMR membership for case review is primarily composed of maternal and infant health professionals. The FIMR model encourages two tiers of review: a case review committee and a community action team. The community action team receives the findings of the case reviews and develops the plan for systems improvements and other prevention actions. There are about 180 community-based FIMR teams in 26 states. State public health departments often provide training and coordination. There are national standards on the FIMR methodology. In cooperation with the Michigan FIMR program, the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention (NCFRP) at the Michigan Public Health Institute created a standardized web-based national FIMR Data System that is available to all teams at no cost. An expanded version is currently being developed with the help of a wide range of FIMR representatives across multiple states and is tentatively scheduled for release in mid-2017.
NCFRP is also working to encourage collaboration between and among CDR and FIMR teams. This effort is coordinated by Abby Collier, Senior Program Coordinator. The value of coordination among different types of review is discussed in The Coordination & Integration of Fatality Reviews: Improving Health and Safety Outcomes Across the Life Course, Findings from the National Invitational Meeting December 7-8 2011.
In December 2004, findings from an evaluation of the FIMR process were published in a special issue of the MCH Journal, Fetal and Infant Mortality Review: Historical Foundations, Evaluation Findings and Future Directions.
Training and technical assistance for FIMR teams is provided by the NCFRP FIMR Director, Rosemary Fournier or Abby Collier. For more information on FIMR, contact Rosemary Fournier or call (800) 656-2434 or for more general information, please use our contact form.
Please review our Frequently Asked Questions about the new NCFRP structure for FIMR training and technical assistance.