Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City Achieves Major Perinatal Safety Goal
Mercy Medical Center,-Sioux City, a member of Trinity Health, announced today that it has achieved an important safety and quality goal that will ensure babies born in its labor and delivery unit are safer at the time of their births. With 100% of its labor and delivery team certified in Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM), Mercy Sioux City has accomplished an important quality and safety goal related to how individual staff members read, interpret and talk about what they see on electronic fetal monitors.
Mercy Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jerome Pierson acknowledged the hard work of the physicians, nurses and staff of the Mercy Family Birth Center who achieved this new level of certification. “Mercy has brought a new level of safety to families who choose to have their baby at our Family Birth Center,” said Dr. Pierson. “This new level of certification goes above and beyond what most hospitals would require and that ultimately means Mercy has created the safest environment possible to have a baby.”
The NCC’s Certificate of Added Qualification in Electronic Fetal Monitoring (C-EFM) is open to RNs, nurse practitioners, physicians, physician assistants and nurse midwives and takes a significant commitment to coursework, practice and examinations. As a quality and safety program, the certification enables Trinity Health to standardize EFM interpretation and implement best practices to improve patient safety and reduce the risk of medical errors during labor and delivery.
Throughout labor, EFM helps clinicians evaluate a baby’s heart rate frequently and effectively, watching for signs of problems, like an abnormal fetal heart rate pattern that may indicate the need for interventions.
During labor, certain heart rate changes are signs of well-being. For example, when babies move, their heart rates go up, just as an adult’s does when they exercise. But some dips in a baby’s heart rate or a persistently fast heartbeat can be cause for concern. With their C-EFM designations, labor and delivery teams are more adept at determining which ones to be concerned about and which are normal.
Our nurses and doctors are also aware of the best protocols to use in reaction to different events. Often, a simple intervention, such as changing the mother’s position, giving her more fluids through an IV, or giving her supplemental oxygen is enough to improve things. In other situations, interventions can include stopping oxytocin (Pitocin) if labor is being induced, giving medication to relax the uterus and decrease contractions, infusing sterile liquid into the uterus if membranes are ruptured, or emergency C-section.
Mothers-to-be are encouraged to ask their doctors, nurses and mid-wives if they have been certified in electronic fetal monitoring.
Mercy’s Family Birth Center is designated as a Level II Center for perinatal services. Our expert staff are available to provide care for women with a normal pregnancy and birth as well as for women experiencing health problems or complications during pregnancy, birth or postpartum. To contact the Mercy Family Birth Center, call (712) 279-2116.
For more information, contact:
Jim Wharton, VP of Marketing and Business Development (712) 279-2732
Dianne Krier, Mercy Marketing and Communications Coordinator