University of Maryland Shore Regional Health was recognized in June 2015 with the presentation of a banner award, by the March of Dimes’ Maryland National Capitol Area Chapter and its partner entities, the Maryland Patient Safety Center, and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The award recognizes UM Shore Regional Health’s commitment to improving the quality of care for moms and babies and the great strides made by the Birthing Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton in reducing the rate of non-medically indicated deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation.
The banner program is a component of the March of Dimes “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” campaign, which urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy.
Premature births cost the U.S. more than $26 billion a year and take a high toll on families. Babies born just a few weeks early are at risk of severe health problems and lifelong disabilities, and premature birth is the leading cause of death of children under five years old. While the national rate of elective pre-term births has been declining since 2006, the current 11.4 percent rate remains higher than that of most developed nations. March of Dimes’ goal is to reduce it to 5.5 percent by 2030.
To qualify for March of Dimes Banner Recognition, hospitals completed an application and provided the following: data for at least two consecutive quarters showing rate of elective pre-term deliveries below 5% for each quarter; a written policy regarding non-medically indicated deliveries less than 39 weeks gestation; and a description of the process for monitoring the rate of non-medically indicated deliveries less than 39 weeks. State-wide, 30 hospitals earned March of Dimes Banner Recognition this year.
“We are proud that our expert team has worked to address this issue in our community and to establish policies to avoid scheduling deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary,” said Ruth Ann Jones, EdD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, director of Acute Care and Emergency Services. “The Birthing Center multidisciplinary team has done an exemplary job in reducing early elective deliveries in order to provide the best care to our mothers and babies — truly Creating Healthier Communities Together.”