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VWCH receives Best Hospitals for Maternity Care award from U.S. News & World Report

Dec. 27, 2022, 2:15 PM


by Danny Bonvissuto

Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital (VWCH) is one of the 2022-2023 Best Hospitals for Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy), according to U.S. News & World Report.

Out of approximately 650 evaluations, VWCH was one of 297 hospitals to receive the High Performing designation on Dec. 6. This is the highest award they give for maternity care.

“The recognition of maternity care at VWCH as ‘high performing’ by USNWR is a true testimony to the efforts of our VWCH obstetrics team to provide only the highest quality care to our expectant mothers in Lebanon and its surrounding communities,” says Ronald Alvarez, MD, MBA, Betty and Lonnie S. Burnett Professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “What a great way to honor VUMC’s commitment to regional maternity services.”

USNWR used four new data points for the 2022-2023 assessment: episiotomy rates; vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) rates; whether each hospital complied with new federal criteria for “birthing friendly” practices; and transparency on racial and ethnic disparities.

“Identifying racial disparities in maternity care is a vital step toward achieving health equity,” says Min Hee Seo, senior health data scientist at U.S. News. “The new measure provides expectant parents with many important data points, such as whether hospitals implemented patient safety practices, to assist them in making a decision about where to receive maternity care.”

Other factors include breast milk feeding, C-sections, scheduled early deliveries and newborn complications.

Megan Donohue, MSN, CNM, associate in Obstetrics and Gynecology, said one of the most important measures VWCH has taken to earn this honor is adding certified midwives to the teams.

“Studies have shown improved birth outcomes, lower interventions and improved patient satisfaction/experience with the addition of a midwife to the OB team,” she said. “We want our patients to know they have a voice in their delivery plans, and we want them to feel informed and impowered to make their birthing decisions.”

Donohue added that many members of her team live in the community they serve and feel connected to the patient population.

“This honor shows the community that we put patient-centered care and quality first,” says Adam Huggins, MD, assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. “We are proud to have built a service line and culture that has lowered C-section rates, lowered episiotomy rates and increased breast-feeding rates among other achievements. It is reflective of VWCH’s goal to deliver the highest quality care locally to the patients in and around Wilson County.”

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