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North Oaks Medical Center Recognized as Only Birth Ready+ Facility on the Northshore

  • Category: In The News
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  • Written By: Melanie Lanaux Zaffuto
North Oaks Medical Center Recognized as Only Birth Ready+ Facility on the Northshore

The Louisiana Department of Health and the Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (LaPQC) are recognizing North Oaks Medical Center as one of 16 hospitals across the state to achieve a new designation for committing to practices that improve quality and outcomes for women giving birth.

Of the 16 hospitals recognized, North Oaks Medical Center is one of five birthing facilities and the only one on the Northshore to earn LaPQC’s highest designation of “Louisiana Birth Ready Plus.” The remaining eleven birthing facilities received the designation of “Louisiana Birth Ready.”

“This achievement is a testament to our team’s collaboration and singular focus on delivering exceptional and safe birthing experiences for all,” asserts Tamara Mitchell, director of Women & Children’s Services for North Oaks Medical Center.

The new designation recognizes consistent, thoughtful health care improvement work that focuses on improving safety, equity and the promotion of dignified birth. To achieve designation, facilities had to meet criteria in five dimensions, including implementation of policies and procedures, promoting patient partnership and addressing health disparities and equity.

“Disparities in birth outcomes experienced by mothers in Louisiana are unfortunately well documented, but through the LaPQC, the Louisiana Department of Health is working to change that narrative,” comments LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips. “I’d like to congratulate the birthing facilities that have achieved these new designations, rising to meet the challenge of improving birthing outcomes and ensuring everyone has equitable opportunity to have a safe and dignified birth.”

“I am so proud of the work birth facilities are doing to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality in Louisiana, as well as address disparities. In partnering with the LaPQC, we have seen a 35% reduction in adverse outcomes from hemorrhage; 49% in Black individuals; and a 12% reduction in adverse outcomes from hypertension,” asserts Dr. Veronica Gillispie-Bell, medical director of the LaPQC. “While all of our hospitals are making efforts to implement changes to improve outcomes, this designation recognizes those hospitals who have gone above and beyond to contribute to the improvement we are seeing for our mothers and families in Louisiana.”

All recognized facilities went through a rigorous application and review process by the LaPQC to receive designation. Hospitals that achieved Birth Ready Plus status had to meet a higher threshold of compliance and achievement of requirements. Applications are reviewed and renewed annually for sustained compliance.

The work of the LaPQC, an initiative of the Department’s Bureau of Family Health, is dedicated to improving perinatal and neonatal outcomes across Louisiana. Birth outcomes in Louisiana have historically been among the worst in the nation; between 2011 and 2016, about half of all deaths that were associated with a recent birth were preventable.

The LaPQC was created to promote the implementation of evidence-based practices to reduce significant factors that contribute to poor birth outcomes. The collaborative also focuses on promoting health equity and reducing racial and ethnic disparities.

For more information on the Birth Ready Designation and a full list of hospitals, click here.

North Oaks Medical Center also is recognized by the Institutes for Healthcare Improvement, the March of Dimes and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association as a Blue Distinction Center Plus for Maternity Care. The hospital also has earned Gift designation through the Louisiana Department of Health for fully supporting mothers who choose to breastfeed, and its Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is ranked among the top 25% in the nation according to the prestigious Vermont-Oxford Study.

To learn more about women and children’s services at North Oaks, call North Oaks Public Relations at (985) 230-6647.