Maternity services: excellent care in serene surroundings
To learn more about maternity services at Community Health Network, visit eCommunity.com/ob
Close to 1,000 babies are delivered at Community Hospital East every year. Why do families choose Community East when they are expecting a baby? Convenient access is one reason. Several outpatient locations serve the eastside—Community Health Pavilion Shadeland at 21st Street and Shadeland, Community Health Pavilion East at 10th Street and Mitthoeffer and Community Hospital East Professional Building on the hospital campus.
With four OB/GYN physicians practicing at Community East and a family medicine residency program, which includes five faculty members and eight to 12 residents, patients have convenient access when they need it. “You are guaranteed to get in within 48 hours, and sometimes even the same day,” said Thomas A. Ferrara, M.D., medical director, women’s health services for Community Physician Network. “All of our OB doctors are accepting new patients and are very willing to take people on short notice.”
But it’s the quality of care that concerns most prospective parents, and that’s where Community East shines. Physicians and nurses work well together, with relationships built on trust. That translates to better outcomes for patients.
For example, at 17 percent, Community East’s C-section rate for first deliveries is below the national average.
“We’ve got the most experienced nurses in the network, and to me, that qualifies as superior care,” said Amy Wire, director of maternity services at Community East. “It means safer care, more personalized care and more attentive care, with more nurses at the bedside to meet patients’ individual needs.” Wire also cites the collaborative spirit between Community East physicians and nurses. “I think that’s what makes us very successful,” she said. “If patients are looking for high quality, personalized service right in their neighborhood, we’re the best choice.”
With a Level II special care nursery, Community East is fully equipped to care for babies born at 32 weeks or later. “We can do the vast majority of care here,” Ferrara said. “We take care of some pretty sick patients with guidance from super experts in the field.”
It is vital that moms-to-be are seen as early in their pregnancy as possible so potential problems can be identified and handled effectively. That can be an issue for Medicaid patients who may wait 20 weeks to receive confirmation of their status. To ensure the best possible outcome for these patients and their babies, Community East assumes presumptive eligibility so they can receive early care.
Community East and the OB/GYN physicians also adjust fees based on income so excellent care is within the reach of all moms-to-be. Eligible families also receive everything needed to take care of their new babies—a complimentary diaper bag, bottles, sleepers, blankets, diapers and pacifiers. And, every patient that delivers at Community East receives a free car seat and education on how to use it properly. “We want to promote safety from day one,” Wire said.
Patients receive free prenatal vitamins, childbirth education classes and breast-feeding classes. New moms can call Community East’s lactation consultants at any time, and they even make home visits. For a fee, patients can have a doula, a birthing coach, who assists during delivery. Natural childbirth is also an option for patients.
Last year Community East invested $400,000 in maternity services. Enhancements include a new color palette of serene blue and warm wood-tones. The 15 spacious suites—13 of which are private— come equipped with everything patients need for the birthing experience. From the time they are admitted until they return home they stay in one room as they progress through labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care. Each suite has a flatscreen TV, and patients are able to view interactive educational videos via the GetWell Network, so they can learn how to care for their babies on their own schedule. The renovation also included new operating tables and incubators.
“Things have changed,” Ferrara said. “But the basic ‘take care of the patient’ philosophy has stayed the same. That’s what got me here and has kept me here for 40 years. When you have a culture like that, everybody wins.”