MUNSTER - Community Hospital’s Family Birthing Center is among a handful of facilities in Indiana to earn Perinatal Care Certification from The Joint Commission. The voluntary certification program recognizes Joint Commission accredited hospitals for their commitment to achieving integrated coordinated and patient-centered care for mothers and their newborns.
“Achieving Perinatal Care Certification recognizes an organization’s commitment to healthy mothers and healthy babies,” said Patrick Phelan, executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “The certification gives providers an unparalleled advantage when it comes to preparing mothers for labor and delivery, while also being able to help them if complications arise.”
Community Hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review April 16 and 17 to assess compliance with certification standards for perinatal care. During the review, Joint Commission experts completed an independent evaluation of Community Hospital’s perinatal healthcare services.
These services include labor and delivery, mother-baby and neonatal care. In order to achieve certification, besides meeting and exceeding Joint Commission core measures, Community Hospital has demonstrated the ability to provide:
- Integrated, coordinated patient-centered care that starts with prenatal and continues through postpartum care
- Early identification of high-risk pregnancies and births
- Management of mother and newborn risks at a level corresponding to the program’s capabilities
- Available patient education and information about perinatal care services
“By working together to achieve this certification, we have shown that we are focused on ongoing quality-improvement processes that ultimately improve care for mothers and their newborns,” said Lou Molina, chief executive officer. “Our physicians, healthcare professionals and staff continue to provide high-quality care to all of our patients, especially to the women who entrust us with their care and their infants before, during and after birth.”
“Where an expectant mother chooses to have her baby and who she chooses for her physician is one of the most important decisions a new mom can make,” said Ronda McKay, chief nursing officer and vice president Patient Care Services. “Situations can change. You need to pick the place and the doctor that can manage those changes and deliver the best outcome. When you have a comprehensive program that is in your community such as the Community Hospital Family Birthing Center, it is helpful for the family’s support system. Being able to stay close to home really helps,” she said.
Community Hospital delivers the most babies in Northwest Indiana, making the hospital the most experienced in the area and one of the leading facilities in the state for newborn care.
“We provide everything under one roof and that is what sets us apart from other programs,” said Carla Meyer, director of Patient Care Services. “We are truly prepared for the expected and the unexpected, all issues that a mother and her baby could experience.”
Hospitals such as Community Hospital that achieve Joint Commission certification are continually striving to improve on the following quality goals that impact mother and baby’s health and wellbeing:
- Reducing infant mortality rates
- Reducing maternal complications
- Reducing unnecessary induction of labor
- Reducing elective deliveries that may lead to an increase in neonatal intensive care unit admission rates
- Reducing delivery complications
- Reducing prematurity rates that can lead to infant mortality
- Reducing costs associated with lengthy hospitals stays due to pregnancy-related complications
“This is not a required, but a voluntary certification program,” said Meyer. “We invited the Joint Commission to come here and evaluate our processes. Our team was proud of the work that had already been done to integrate our services on labor and delivery, mother-baby and the NICU. This program provided an opportunity for us to reexamine our policies, procedures and practices, and in doing so it became clear that we could move from a strong, patient-centered care program to one that is outstanding.”
Established in 2015, Perinatal Care Certification is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals.