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Maternity Department receives glowing review
June 4, 2012
Madison County Hospital's Maternity Department recently received a positive review from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
"I am proud of our Maternity Department for being successfully surveyed by ODH," said Jennifer Piccione, Chief Nursing and Clinical Services Officer. "You have to pass the survey or you cannot have a Maternity Department. I know that we can always trust that our maternity care can stand up to the high standards of ODH."
Maternity departments across the state are surveyed every three years. For two days, surveyors visit the hospital to take a comprehensive look at the department. Their review includes examining processes, policies, staffing levels, and the department's cleanliness. They also look at employee files to make sure that all nurses have completed the appropriate training, as well as review patient charts to ensure that they are receiving the highest standard of care.
"Because we have a smaller department, our nurses go through extensive training so they are experts in all areas including labor, delivery, and post partum care," said Tracy Stewart, Director of the Maternity Department. "The benefit to the patient is that she can have the same caregivers throughout her entire birthing experience."
At the end of the survey, ODH deemed MCH as a facility that provides safe, competent, quality care in the Maternity Department.
"The ODH holds our department to the same standards as any other similar department in the state and we are pleased to have their validation of the care we can provide right here at MCH," said Mitchell Spahn, MD, an obstetrician who practices at MCH.
The positive review by ODH comes during a time when the MCH Maternity Department is expanding programs to help provide extra care to patients and their families.
One such program is telemedicine. Telemedicine uses high-definition video conferencing technology to help connect MCH to Nationwide Children's Hospital.
"Due to our size, it is not feasible for us to have a neonatologist on staff," said Tracy. "Now, Nationwide Children's Hospital is on the line in 30 seconds. Their physicians are members of our team of care that includes nurses, obstetricians, pediatricians, and family physicians."
Telemedicine can also be used for what Tracy calls "medicine of the heart." The technology can be used to help a military father who may be out of the country witness the birth of his child. Or, if a baby needs to be transferred to Nationwide Children's while the mother is still in the hospital, she can still see her baby and speak directly with the physicians there.
MCH maternity is also developing ways to enhance the support they offer breastfeeding mothers. A lactation consultant has joined the staff and is available to provide personalized support. The department is also collaborating with WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) on a national campaign to improve breastfeeding rates.
Finally, the department now has nurses who are certified in Kangaroo Care. Kangaroo Care is a technique practiced on newborns in which they are held skin-to-skin on their mother's chest right after birth. According to ODH, babies who experience Kangaroo Care — named for how kangaroos carry their young — are happier and less likely to cry, and have better heart rates and healthier blood sugar levels.
"We delivered 280 babies in 2011, and we are on track deliver more in 2012," said Tracy. "With so many families trusting us, we are proud to be able to offer such a high standard of care for both mothers and babies."