Birthing Center Wins Commendation from Maryland Patient Safety Center


The care team at the Birthing Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton was recently recognized by the Maryland Patient Safety Center (MSPC) for their success in implementing a program designed to standardize care and treatment of newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

“You can be very proud of your achievement in implementing this program, said Robert Imhoff, director, Maryland Patient Safety Center, to pediatrician Ahmed Gawal,, MD, Birthing Center Manager Luanne Satchell and several members of the Birthing Center team who were on hand for the presentation of a recognition banner from the Center. “Your success improves the quality and safety of care for infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.”

Photo: On hand to receive the recognition banner from Maryland Patient Safety Director Robert Imhoff (far right, back) were (l. to r.) Luanne Satchell, manager, Birthing Center; pediatrician Ahmed Gawad, MD; Aymee Gonzalez, RN; Myra Sisco, surgical tech; Carol Leonard, RN, lactation consultant; Debbie Correa, unit secretary; Linda Warren, RN, clinical coordinator; Sarah Hopkins, LCSW; Tammi Zalewski, RN; and Carol Rogers, RN, clinical coordinator.

NAS occurs in newborns who were exposed to opiates, alcohol, narcotic or other drugs while in the mother’s womb. Newborns with NAS have physiologic and neurobehavioral signs, medical complications, increased chance of admission to an intensive care unit, and prolonged hospital stays (average of 26 days). With the rising rate of opiate and heroin addictions in Maryland, the number of infants born to substance-using pregnant women has also risen, increasing the number of babies born with NAS. In October of 2016, the MSPC began a two year initiative to standardize care and treatment of these infants.

The MPSC partnered with the Vermont Oxford Network (VON) to utilize their Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome State-Wide Implementation Package. This partnership has provided participants with access to data-driven, action-oriented, education modules for improving outcomes and increasing the quality and safety of the care provided to infants with NAS and their families. The goals of this two-year initiative include: to decrease the length of stay for infants with NAS; to decrease 30-day readmissions of infants with NAS and to decrease the number of infants with NAS transferred from the birthing hospital to a higher level of care or specialty hospital for longer term care.

As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,500 employees, medical staff, board members, and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

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