Erlanger’s Women’s Services 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 and 39 weeks. There is a greater risk of complications associated with births prior to 39 weeks, and waiting allows for better growth and development of vital organs such as the brain, lungs and liver.
Erlanger 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. The hospital has awarded a congratulatory banner to recognize its team’s outstanding effort by the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety, shown here in the photo with the Baroness Labor & Delivery team.
Erlanger 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, Erlanger 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.