Hardin Medical Center recognized by THA for Leadership in Improving Infant Health


SAVANNAH, TN—February 19, 2013—- Hardin Medical Center (HMC) has been recognized by the Tennessee Hospital Association’s (THA) Tennessee Center for Patient Safety for its leadership in reducing the number of babies born electively between 37 to 39 weeks. There is a greater risk of complications associated with births prior to 39 weeks, and waiting until 39 weeks allows for better growth and development of vital organs such as the brain, lungs and liver.  
HMC successfully met its goal of decreasing the number of babies delivered electively between 37 to 39 weeks gestation to 5 percent or less and has maintained this goal for a minimum of six consecutive months. This dramatically increases the chances for good physical and developmental health of babies. It also allows for better health and safety of the mother. The hospital is being awarded a congratulatory banner to recognize its team’s outstanding effort by the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety.
“Babies born too early are at risk for respiratory distress, jaundice, hypoglycemia and other conditions that require more medical care and put them at greater risk for death before their first birthday,” said Craig A. Becker, THA president. “That is why the work being done at this hospital is so vitally important to all Tennesseans. Results like these represent the combined efforts of every single professional at this hospital, from the physicians and nursing staff to the board of trustees.”
HMC is part of a statewide Healthy Tennessee Babies Are Worth the Wait initiative launched less than two years ago to increase awareness of the benefits of full-term delivery. In May 2012, nearly 16 percent of all Tennessee deliveries that occurred prior to 39 weeks gestation were considered elective. Today, that number has been reduced by almost 85 percent. Among other activities, HMC adopted a strict hard-stop policy that prohibits early elective deliveries before 39 weeks unless there is a clear medical risk to the mother or the baby.
“HMC is very proud to be recognized as a leader in Patient Safety especially regarding our youngest patients and their mothers. The HMC Labor and Delivery team consists of highly qualified professionals who are well trained in focusing on the health and well-being of our labor and delivery patients,” said Nick Lewis, HMC Chief Executive Officer. 
The Healthy Tennessee Babies Are Worth the Wait program is a partnership of local hospitals, the Tennessee Department of Health, THA, Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care, March of Dimes and Tennessee Center for Patient Safety. The coalition has been recognized nationally as an example of successful collaboration in patient safety. For more information about the Healthy Tennessee Babies Are Worth the Wait program, go to www.healthytennesseebabies.com. 
Hardin Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare provider with the primary mission of offering safe, quality, comprehensive health care services to our community, always striving for excellence and rendering service with dignity and compassion.  To learn more about HMC, visit our website--www.HardinMedicalCenter.org.

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