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  • Onslow Memorial Hospital receives highest national designation in Maternity Care

Onslow Memorial Hospital receives highest national designation in Maternity Care

JACKSONVILLE -- ‘William and Emma’ didn’t know it, but they were born at a hospital about to be nationally recognized for its expertise in Maternity Care.

Effective January 1, Onslow Memorial Hospital (OMH) will be designated a Blue Distinction Center Plus–the highest designation given by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in a new national program recognizing healthcare facilities that demonstrate expertise in Maternity Care.

With more than 1,400 babies born at OMH so far in 2015, “William and Emma” are two of the most popular baby names given in our state. But no matter what name is chosen, all babies born at OMH now share a new advantage.

“The Maternity Care specialty is a brand new designation,” said Jo Malfitano, Director of Performance Improvement & Accreditation for the hospital. “This distinction validates the hospital’s extraordinary work, commitment to quality care, and excellence from our staff and providers.”

“The high-level designation is such a positive reflection of the care that the staff strives to provide every day for our tiniest patients–and their moms,” said Angela Pollock, Nurse Manager of Maternal Child Services. “Every baby born at OMH is special to us.”

“We hope that knowing we are a Blue Distinction Center Plus further shows our community that we are always making the patient and the family the focal point of everything we do,” Malfitano added.

The Maternity Care program focuses on Vaginal Delivery and Cesarean Delivery care performed at acute care inpatient facilities, routine obstetrical services, and follow-up care. “The goal of the program is to help consumers find both quality and value,” stated the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Only facilities that first meet nationally established, objective quality measures for Blue Distinction Centers are considered for the highest “Plus” designation for expertise and cost efficiency.

“Along with this Blue Distinction, our Labor & Delivery (L&D) unit has also just been recognized from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for our safe maternity care over the past year,” Pollock added.

The national Safety Program for Perinatal Care “seeks to facilitate coordination and teamwork on L&D units, improve patient safety and quality of care, and decrease maternal and neonatal adverse events,” said Asta Sorensen, Director of the Safety Program for Perinatal Care at the AHRQ. Sorensen congratulated the “hospital team, championed by Sharon Autry, Assistant Nurse Manager.”

“As one of 68 participating hospitals nationwide, we are very proud of the work we have done with the AHRQ Safety Program for Perinatal Care,” Autry responded. “With Dr. Webb as our physician champion and team members Debbie Bellavance and Brooke Cauley, the entire Maternal/Child services department has been trained in TeamSTEPPS communication, shown to improve safety and coordination among team members and with patients, ultimately providing for better outcomes,” Autry said.

“When you receive multiple recognitions, it really speaks to the quality of the care being provided to babies and moms by our Maternity and L&D–and that’s what we all strive for,” Pollock said.