When the New Jersey Department of Health asked its member hospitals to commit, in writing, to meeting a national benchmark for reducing low-risk C-sections, Inspira Health didn’t hesitate.
“Without hesitation, we signed the Commitment Letter. The letter asks all hospitals to commit to achieving a rate at or below the nationally established goal of 23.9 percent by December of 2021,” said John DiAngelo, president and CEO, Inspira Health, and member of the New Jersey Hospital Association Board of Trustees. “I’m pleased to report that two of our hospitals are below the goal. And we are confident that our third hospital will return to being below the benchmark this year. Historically, it has been significantly below the 23.9 percent goal.”
As a member of the New Jersey Perinatal Quality Collaborative, Inspira Health constantly assesses its data to measure results and identify areas that require additional attention. Through education and training, Inspira hospitals have steadily reduced their C-section rates during the past few years. Approximately 3,000 babies are born each year at Inspira hospitals. The data is clear. Delivery by C-section should only be chosen when there is a compelling medical reason.
Across Inspira’s maternity centers, several steps have been taken to lower C-section rates. These include:
• Development of a checklist to help determine necessity of C-section
• A formal review of each C-section that is performed
• Adherence to the active Labor Protocol developed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (the professional organization of women’s health care physicians)
“By focusing on this important patient safety issue, New Jersey hospitals are making significant progress,” said Vivian Vega, M.D., chair of Obstetrics at Inspira Medical Center Woodbury. “As we reduce our C-section rate, fewer women are exposed to the potential complications that can occur with a surgical birth.”
In addition to reducing the number of C-section births, Inspira’s maternity teams are committed to providing the best possible outcome and patient experience when a C-section is medically necessary. A “gentle C-section” protocol has been put in place to provide some of the same benefits associated with a vaginal delivery.
“While the greater percentage of labors are uncomplicated, there are occasions where a cesarean section is indicated,” said Michael Geria, D.O., a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist and vice president of Academic Affairs at Inspira Health. The “gentle C-section” or “natural C-section” affords an experience which is as close to a vaginal delivery setting as one can achieve when a surgical delivery is necessary. All aspects of a vaginal delivery, such as skin to skin contact between mother and baby, can be achieved so long as the sterile surgical field is not compromised and there are no complications prohibiting the “gentle C-section.”