Community Hospital in Munster has received designation as a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Level III Obstetrical Service according to the Indiana State Department of Health’s, new Perinatal Levels-of-care rating system. The designation is in addition to the hospital’s accreditation as a Certified Perinatal Program by the Joint Commission.
As part of a statewide initiative to combat infant and maternal mortality, Indiana passed a new law that certifies levels-of-care designation for hospitals and facilities providing birthing services. The law, SB 360, establishes a “perinatal levels of care” rating system which categorizes hospitals based on specific standards of obstetric and neonatal care.
“This advanced level of care and maternal services we provide ensures mothers and babies remain close together while they receive their care,” said Carla Meyer, MS, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, director patient care services at Community Hospital. “Although the tiniest of preemies have many skilled caregivers on their team, they ‘know’ the mother’s voice and smell. This closeness gives the baby a sense of familiarity and comfort from the very beginning. It’s a great starting point for bonding. We also offer ongoing therapies and support to help these infants and families grow to their fullest potential in life.”
Level III NICU and Obstetrical Service designation recognizes a hospital's expertise in providing comprehensive care and specialty management of severe maternal/fetal complications. Under the state designation, the Level III services must have:
- Acute and comprehensive NICU care for infants regardless of gestational age or weight
- Services for newborns that include life support, advanced imaging such as MRI and echocardiography, and a full range of respiratory support
- Clinical experience as demonstrated by large patient volume and increasing complexity of care
- Supervision by board-certified neonatologists and continuous availability of neonatologists in-house
- An obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) and anesthesia services physically present on-site at all times
- Specially trained staff with demonstrated experience and capability to provide comprehensive management of severe maternal complications
- Surgical and anesthesia services available on-site at all times
- On-site Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with critical care specialists immediately available at all times
- Advanced imaging including interventional radiology, maternal echocardiography, CT, MRI and nuclear medical imaging
- Acceptance of risk-appropriate maternal transports
“As Northwest Indiana’s premier provider of obstetric and newborn services, Community Hospital’s official designation as a Level III NICU confirms our tradition of providing the highest levels of personalized care for mothers and babies,” said hospital CEO, Lou Molina. “The state designation further clarifies the technology, expertise and quality outcomes we deliver on a daily basis to families throughout our communities.”
For more information about the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Community Hospital, or learn more about the Family Birthing Centers of Community Healthcare System, visit our website at comhs.org/baby.
CUTLINE: Kelly Spomar, RN, manager of Neonatal and Pediatric Services and Elise Grimmius Physician’s Assistant-Neonatology, care for a critically-ill newborn at Community Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Community Hospital’s NICU and Obstetric Services were granted official Perinatal Level III certification by the Maternal and Child Health Division at the Indiana State Department of Health.