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Table 1 Sample performance indicators of a MDSR system*

From: Towards elimination of maternal deaths: maternal deaths surveillance and response

Indicators Targets
Overall system indicators
Maternal death is a notifiable event Yes
National maternal death review committee exists Yes
- that meets regularly At least quarterly
National maternal mortality report published annually Yes
% of districts with maternal death review committees 100%
% of districts with someone responsible for MDSR 100%
Identification and notification
Health facility:
All maternal deaths are notified Yes
% within 24 hours >90%
% of communities with ‘zero reporting’ monthly 100%
% of community maternal deaths notified within 48 hours >80%
% of expected maternal deaths that are notified >90%
Health facility
% of hospitals with a review committee 100%
% of health facility maternal deaths reviewed 100%
% of reviews that include recommendations 100%
% of verbal autopsies conducted for suspected maternal deaths >90%
% of notified maternal deaths that are reviewed by district >90%
District maternal mortality review committee exists Yes
- and meets regularly to review facility and community deaths At least quarterly
% of reviews that included community participation and feedback 100%
Data Quality Indicators
Cross-check of data from facility and community on same maternal death 5% of deaths cross-checked
Sample of WRA deaths checked to ensure they are correctly identified as not maternal 1% of WRA rechecked
% of committee recommendations that are implemented >80%
- quality of care recommendations >80%
- other recommendations >80%
% of committee recommendations that are implemented >80%
National committee produces annual report Yes
District committee produces annual report Yes
- and discusses with key stakeholders including communities Yes
Quality of care (requires specific indicators, such as case fatality rates)
District maternal mortality ratio Reduced by 10% annually
Hospital maternal mortality ratio/lethality rates Reduced by 10% annually
  1. *To be adapted to each country context.