How New Jersey hospitals are tackling unneeded C-sections

Each of New Jersey's 49 hospitals that delivers babies is involved in an initiative to cut unnecessary C-sections — a risky procedure performed more frequently in the Garden State than most other states, NJ Spotlight reports.

In June, the New Jersey Hospital Association announced state birthing facilities will hold additional training and take up new clinical protocols and monitoring practices based on association policies and state health department standards.

The initiative intends to reduce the number of C-sections by nearly a third.

"Delivering a baby is one of the most important times in which more medical intervention isn't always best," said Cathy Bennett, the hospital association’s CEO and president. "We must approach this challenge as a partnership — with well-trained hospital teams working with well-prepared women and their support teams to ensure that every mother and baby has the very best care without incurring any unnecessary risks."

Although the state's hospitals have made recent improvements, its C-section rate for 2016 was 30.3 percent of all births, well above the target 23 percent, according to the hospital association.

Recent findings based on 2017 data by The Leapfrog Group revealed just nine of the 47 hospitals included in the report met their C-section rate goal of less than 24 percent, down from 11 facilities in 2016.

The new C-section initiative will focus on first-time, low-risk pregnancies with a single fetus in the proper position for vaginal birth.

The project, which started in April and will continue through 2019, includes more education for nurses and other staff on modern, supportive labor techniques, such as improved pain assessments and better engagement of partners and family members.

Hospitals will also work to integrate doulas, who can assist and support mothers during birth, with the clinical team and improve communications between caregivers.

Garden State hospitals will also be asked to adopt proven protocols for regional anesthesia use and policies to ensure proper monitoring of all mothers, including low-risk patients, as the labor starts to progress.

"In our work, we've seen that physician and nurse leadership is the most important ingredient to improving the outcomes," said Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, adding that "early clear communication with patients about their birth plan and setting expectations is also important."

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars