Maternity Department Helps Deliver Top Ranking For Gerber Memorial
FREMONT – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial received the highest ratings in all four areas of maternity care from The Leapfrog Group, which honored the hospital Dec. 6 as a nationally recognized 2016 Leapfrog Top Rural Hospital for the second consecutive year. Leapfrog’s profile of Gerber Memorial showed the hospital scoring four bars – the most possible – for early elective deliveries; Cesarean sections, episiotomies and maternity care processes.
The maternity care rankings reflect a hospital’s commitment to and success in promoting patient safety for mothers and their children. Overall, Leapfrog’s top hospital rankings weigh maternity care as a key criteria. Gerber Memorial was also a Top Rural Hospital in 2015.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is a phenomenal place for maternity care because...
...we stay up to date on best practices and working closely with the mother and family to develop a birth and delivery plan that works best for them,” said Tami Michele, DO, board certified OB/GYN and chief of obstetrical services at Gerber Memorial. “The Leapfrog ranking confirms that what we do every day follows solid evidence and best practices for the health and safety of mom and child.”
Early elective deliveries include scheduled cesarean sections or medical inductions performed prior to 39 weeks of gestation without medical delivery. Data shows that early elective deliveries carry risks for babies and mothers, and can result in neonatal intensive care unit admissions, long stays and higher costs. Leapfrog’s target is 5 percent or lower. Gerber Memorial’s rate was 0 percent.
Gerber Memorial’s rate of C-sections was 19.7 percent, well below Leapfrog’s target rate of 23.9 percent. C-sections carry risks of infection or blood clots, and can lead to longer recoveries and risks in future pregnancies. C-sections can also cause problems for babies, like breathing difficulties that need treatment in a newborn intensive care unit.
Gerber Memorial’s episiotomy rate of 3.2 percent is also lower than the Leapfrog target rate of 5 percent. Once routine in childbirth, episiotomies – an incision of the birth canal – are now linked to tearing, loss of bladder or bowel control, and pelvic floor defects. Medical guidelines today recommend it only in very limited cases.
Gerber Memorial scored better than target rate for a range of maternity care processes, including screening newborns for jaundice, preventing blood clots in women undergoing C-sections, and others.
“These rankings are a resource for patients and gives them information that they can use for their health and well-being,” said Michele, who is one of three physicians at Gerber Memorial’s Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic. “Leapfrog’s work is one way physicians and hospitals can be transparent for patients. I’m proud to be a part of Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial because the entire team works to make improvements to benefit mothers and babies.”
Michele led a workgroup of Michigan hospitals for the national Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health to change hospital cultures and improve patient safety, including reducing post-partum bleeding, hypertension and preeclampsia. She also serves on the executive committee for the American College of Nurse Midwives’ Healthy Birth Initiative to safely Reduce Primary Cesareans, a national quality improvement project.
More than 500 babies are born at Gerber Memorial each year.
In 2016, Gerber Memorial was one of only 21 hospitals to receive the Top Rural Hospital recognition, out of 334 nationwide that reported for the Leapfrog survey. Altogether, Gerber Memorial joins only 115 hospitals across the United States as a Leapfrog Top Hospital in 2016, out of more than 1,800 that participated in Leapfrog’s 2016 report. The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit that collects data on more than 1,800 hospitals nationwide to provide information and promote transparency for consumers.