San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Joins the March of Dimes Multistate Study Published Today

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Joins the March of Dimes Multistate Study Published Today

[Banning, CA] APRIL 8, 2013 – A study published today in Obstetrics & Gynecology shows that multistate, hospital-based quality improvement programs, including the one at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, can be remarkably effective at reducing early elective deliveries of babies.

The rate of elective early term deliveries (i.e., inductions of labor and Cesarean sections without a medical reason) in a group of 25 participating hospitals fell significantly from 27.8 percent to 4.8 percent during the one-year project period, an 83 percent decline.

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital’s CEO, Mark Turner states, “We are dedicated to improving our community members’ health through continuous improvement in healthcare delivery and education.  We are pleased to see that our collective efforts are reducing early elective deliveries.”

The March of Dimes, which partly funded the initiative, says this is good news because babies delivered before full-term are at increased risk of serious health problems and death in their first year of life.

“This quality improvement program demonstrates that we can create a change in medical culture to prevent unneeded early deliveries and give many more babies a healthy start in life,” says Bryan T. Oshiro, MD, of Loma Linda University School of Medicine and lead author of the study.

“Reducing unnecessary early deliveries means that more babies stayed in the womb longer, which is so important for their growth and development,” says Kari Spoelstra, RN, BSN, IBCLC and Perinatal Educator for Women’s Center.  “Overall, this project saw a decrease in the proportion of babies born at 37 and 38 weeks and a corresponding increase in the 39-41 week range during the one-year period studied.”

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital implemented a toolkit called “Elimination of Non-medically Indicated (Elective) Deliveries before 39 Weeks Gestational Age” to guide changes in early term delivery practices.  The toolkit was developed in partnership with the March of Dimes, the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative and the California Maternal Child and Adolescent Division within the California Department of Public Health. It can be downloaded free from the Prematurity Prevention Resource Center at prematurityprevention.org.

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the nation to participate in a collaborative of perinatal quality improvement advocates with state health departments, academic health centers, and March of Dimes chapters from the five most populous states in the country: California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois. These five states account for an estimated 38 percent of all births in the United States.

The March of Dimes urges hospitals, health care providers, and patients to follow American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines that if a pregnancy is healthy, to wait for labor to begin on its own.  The final weeks of pregnancy are crucial to a baby’s health because many vital organs, including the brain and lungs, are still developing.

“A Multistate Quality Improvement Program to Decrease Elective Deliveries Before 39 Weeks,” by Dr. Oshiro and others, appears in the April 8 online edition of Obstetrics & Gynecology (www.greenjournal.org).

(from left) Marta Bills, MPH, Associate Director of Program Services for the March of Dimes California Chapter; Kari Spoelstra, RN, BSN, IBCLC Perinatal Educator at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital; and Mark Turner, CEO, San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital

(from left) Marta Bills, MPH, Associate Director of Program Services for the March of Dimes California Chapter; Kari Spoelstra, RN, BSN, IBCLC Perinatal Educator at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital; and Mark Turner, CEO, San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital

About San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital

                        Molly Ellis, the Marketing Coordinator at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, states the hospital’s mission is to provide safe, high quality, personalized healthcare services.

“We are a 77-bed facility located in the San Gorgonio Pass, and we were established in 1951 as a living memorial to our country’s World War I and II Veterans,” Ellis says. “Now in our 62nd year, San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital provides excellent care for our community as we continue to grow along with the Pass region.”

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is located at 600 North Highland Springs Avenue in Banning. For more information about the hospital and its services, call 951-845-1121 or visit http://www.sgmh.org.

About the March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health.

With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit www.marchofdimes.com

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