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Women’s Health: Birth and Beyond

From a nationally recognized program for promoting bonds with new babies to a surgical system for less invasive hysterectomies, Texas Health Resources hospitals are committed to providing advanced treatments and personalized care for women.

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth was recognized last fall with a Brazelton Touchpoints™ Award of Excellence for its devotion to helping mothers and families build a strong bond with new babies. Brazelton promotes individualized care for each family, drawing on the unique strengths each member of the family can bring to raising an infant and child.

“Touchpoints™ is about building positive relationships with families,” says Amy Hailey, R.N.C., M.S., director of the Center for Women and Infants Health at Texas Health Fort Worth. “By working within this program, we have given our nurses and staff the tools needed to encourage and build relationships with parents and their newborn babies. The Award of Excellence recognizes and distinguishes us for the ongoing commitment we have made to provide every patient with quality care.”

For Texas Health hospitals, 2008 was a year of continual growth in the area of technology. Several hospitals now offer the da Vinci® Surgical System as a tool for performing less invasive hysterectomies. Use of the da Vinci® surgical robot provides women with a number of benefits, including smaller incisions, less pain and shorter recovery times.

New technology also made its way into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Texas Health Fort Worth and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford. Premature infants are now treated with a bubble continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which helps deliver airflow and pressure to an infant’s lungs and decreases the incidence of chronic lung disease.

Other Texas Health Fort Worth initiatives include the addition of certified nurse-midwives to the system and participation in a national program to eliminate preventable injuries at birth.
Nurse-midwives provide women with another way to meet their individual delivery wants and needs.

“The whole concept of midwifery is high-touch, low-tech,” says Hailey. “We are able to provide this service in our labor and delivery suites, so women have access to an alternative type of delivery while remaining within the safety of the hospital.”

The Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative is a national program designed to eliminate preventable birth injuries and death. As part of the project, new strategies are being implemented at the hospital for nurse-physician communication, timing of cesarean section births and the use of electronic medical records for perinatal documentation.

“We participate in national safety initiatives because it is the right thing to do for our patients,” says Hailey. “There are very few birth injuries, but the life of a child is very precious. We want to do everything we can to provide women and their children the best possible care.”

For more information about women’s and infants’ health services at Texas Health hospitals, visit TexasHealth.org/women. (Spring 2009)

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