Two THR Hospitals Participate in National Initiative to Eliminate Preventable Birth Injuries
05/14/2008

ARLINGTON, Texas — Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (PHD) and Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital (HMFW) are the only two hospitals in Texas participating in a major, new safety initiative to change how U.S. hospitals treat high-risk pregnancies.

Throughout the 21-month national collaborative, called the Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative, PHD and HMFW are among 16 of the country’s leading hospitals working to redefine perinatal care and eliminate preventable birth injuries.

Ranked near the bottom of industrialized nations in infant mortality, the United States averages five deaths per 1,000 deliveries. Additionally, U.S. infants experience close to three birth injuries for every 1,000 births, many of which are preventable, experts say.

“Looking at national statistics on infant mortality and preventable birth injuries, we saw an opportunity to lead the nation in change,” said Deb Maitre, director of women and children’s services at PHD. “Both hospitals are already leaders in proving high-risk care to women in North Texas. Our participation in this initiative will only allow us to provide higher standards of care for patients in North Texas and throughout the country.”

With the goal of eliminating preventable birth-related injuries and deaths, PHD and HMFW have examined existing best-practices and are implementing new strategies for:

  • Nurse/physician communication
  • Timing protocols for cesarean births
  • Perinatal documentation with electronic medical records
  • Patient-simulated drills with the Perinatal Rapid Response Team

“In the past, there have been requests from both physicians and patients to schedule a c-section around what is most convenient for either the patient or physician,” said Amy Hailey, director of the Center for Women and Infants Health at HMFW. “Now, both hospitals are creating cultures that are moving away from what is most convenient to what is best for the health of mom and baby.”

About the Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative
There are five recurring clinical issues that are commonly cited for the majority of perinatal harm. These issues include:

  1. Failure to recognize an infant in distress
  2. Failure to initiate a timely cesarean birth
  3. Failure to properly resuscitate a depressed baby
  4. Inappropriate use of labor-inducing drugs
  5. Inappropriate use of vacuum or forceps

Perinatal team members at PHD and HMFW will participate in patient-simulated drills for certain high-risk protocols. Data from participants will be collected and results measured against benchmarks from similar hospitals.

Hospitals participating in the Perinatal Safety Initiative are:

  • Summa Health System, Akron City Hospital (Akron, OH)
  • Baptist Hospital East (Louisville, KY)
  • Baystate Medical Center (Springfield, MA)
  • Bethesda North Hospital (Cincinnati, OH)
  • West Virginia United Health – East City Hospital (Martinsburg, WV)
  • Good Samaritan Hospital (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Indian Path Medical Center, Mountain States Health Alliance (Kingsport, TN)
  • John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Methodist Medical Center of Illinois (Peoria, IL)
  • Presbyterian Hospital (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (Dallas, TX)
  • St. Joseph Hospital (Bellingham, WA)
  • Univ. of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Fairview Ridges Hospital (Burnsville, MN)
  • West Allis Memorial Hospital, Aurora Health Care (West Allis, WI)

About Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas
Established in 1966, PHD is the flagship hospital of Presbyterian Healthcare System, a member of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system. US News and World Report ranks PHD, a recognized clinical program leader, providing technologically advanced care to patients, among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. The 866-bed facility has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information about PHD, visit www.PHSCare.org.

About Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital
Opened in 1930, Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital is a Magnet-designated hospital, and Tarrant County's largest and busiest hospital and regional referral center. A member of Texas Health Resources, HMFW is licensed for 724 beds and provides the following services: cardiovascular; high risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology; neurosciences; orthopedics and sports medicine; rehabilitation; adult critical care and neonatal intensive care; trauma and emergency medicine; cancer care; medical/surgical; kidney transplants; occupational health; and more. The campus is home to almost 1,000 members of the medical staff, more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and the new state-of-the-art 100-bed Harris Methodist Heart Center. For more information, please call 1-888-4-HARRIS, or visit www.TexasHealth.org/HMFW.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources in one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR controls 13 affiliated hospitals and a medical research organization, and is a corporate member or partner in seven additional hospitals and surgery centers. THR’s family of hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.TexasHealth.org.