The March of Dimes and the Indiana Hospital Association recently recognized Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City for its efforts to reduce the number of elective inductions and cesarean-section deliveries performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy.
Lori Williams, clinical manager of obstetrics, stated, “Patient safety is our number-one priority. Deliveries prior to 39 weeks of pregnancy without a medical reason can lead to complications for both the baby and the mother.
“The last weeks of pregnancy are very important to a child’s development, as this is a critical time for lung maturity, brain and other vital organ development. Our physicians have worked collaboratively to implement evidence-based best practices in the care of our mothers and babies.”
Franciscan St. Anthony Health follows American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommendations for labor induction. It has developed a “hard-stop” process that will not allow elective inductions to be scheduled that do not meet establish evidence-based guidelines.
As a result, the hospital has eliminated non-medically necessary inductions prior to 39 weeks, reduced its primary C-section rate by 4 percent from the previous year, which is under the state and national averages, and reduced labor hours by 16 percent from the previous year.
“Franciscan St. Anthony Health takes great pride in providing quality care to the community we are privileged to serve,” Williams said.
In Indiana, the Indiana Hospital Association and the March of Dimes have partnered with hospitals to improve the quality of birth outcomes, including the work implemented at Franciscan St. Anthony Health.
The campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin naturally, without the assistance of medications to induce labor prior to 39 weeks for normal healthy pregnancies.