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Every day, OBHG’s clinical and operational leadership teams support our hospitalists in their programs. The medical director of operations, regional vice president of operations, and director of hospital operations work to help ensure that programs run smoothly and facilitate hospitalists’ success.
Dr. Alissa Erogbogbo, medical director of operations for the region that includes Northern California and Nevada, has been with OBHG since 2015.
The medical director of operations focuses on clinical operations, including clinical leadership, hospital relationships, new program starts, clinical strategic leadership, and business development support. Our MDOs help ensure the clinical teams are delivering quality programs that achieve both OBHG’s and the hospital’s clinical and operational objectives.
What lessons has working in your current field taught you?
I’ve learned how to be creative and strategic when developing a solution for a potential problem. Also, communicating effectively and clarifying in communication while being compassionate to and understanding of my providers.
When I do my shifts, I am compassionate to my patients and give them my best when they interact with me or need to talk with me. To establish patient rapport quickly, I’ve learned how to read the room and quickly identify with the patient and their family. This allows me to communicate effectively, understand what their needs are, and how I can meet them.
What do you see on the horizon in the field of OB/GYN hospitalist medicine?
I think the field is changing because we are doing more obstetrical emergencies, and being available for the hospital and community providers to lend a helping hand and help them through a tough situation. It’s no longer the “doc in a box,” it’s the doctor who can put their finger on the pulse of what’s going on and come up with a strategy to solve it.
Hospitalists work collaboratively with the nurses and community providers while helping to answer questions—and if they can’t answer the questions, they know where to look for the answers. We’re not just taking care of patients and labor management; we’re helping to solve issues versus just waiting for a delivery. We are the champions for women’s health and we have the highest quality of care and safety standards.
What are important ways that you think you can support our clinicians on the ground?
Maintaining communication and transparency are essential with my site medical directors. It allows for feedback to flow in both directions: working together to review the day-to-day issues and developing solutions, and hopefully building trust and a good working relationship. I am also approachable, so they can initiate the difficult conversations with me.
What do you love the most about what you do?
I love the flexibility. The biggest joy is leaving the hospital and not going directly to the office to see 25 to 30 patients and answer emails. The flexibility and independence that comes with being an OB hospitalist gives you the opportunity to explore and tap into your creativity.
What is a challenge for you in your work?
The challenges we face in our arena of OB hospitalist medicine/MDO are balancing leadership and medicine. I want to build relationships with our clinicians to empower them to be their best and encourage active participation in the organization, along with the hospitals they staff. I want to help our clinicians attain the next level, whether it’s in leadership, participating in hospital initiatives, policy writing, or other areas. I want us to be a driving force and the champions in our field of medicine.
Please tell us about your background.
I grew up in Detroit with my mom, stepdad, and brother, along with a very supportive extended family. It was never a question of whether I was going to college, it was where—and then what else I was going to do after college. I was pretty good at math and once I got into high school, I opted to pursue engineering. I did multiple summer engineering internships as a high school student. I knew I wanted to attend engineering school, so when I was accepted to a dual degree program, engineering undergrad and medical school at the same time, my fate was set.
I started out as a chemical engineer in undergrad and worked for two years in validation and process engineering while I figured out if I wanted to attend medical school. Once I started on my path of attending medical school, I then had to decide what field of medicine would be best suited for me. When I did my rotation at the former Cook County Hospital in Chicago, I decided there was nothing better than surgery or OB and I went on to residency at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.
I’ve been married to my husband, Boladale, for more than 20 years. I have a 13-year-old son, Boladale (whose name means “all thoughts about blessings”), 10-year-old son, Moyosola (“all thoughts about God and his blessing”), and 3-year-old daughter, Shayosola (“God bless me with joy”). Our last name, Erogbogbo, means “all thoughts about money.”
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I love to read historical fiction and non-fiction, going to see SCARY movies, and yoga. I also enjoy spending as much time as I can with my family and hanging out with my kids during their afterschool activities like basketball and track. I take an annual spa vacation with my friend of more than 15 years, which helps me to recharge and decompress for a few days.
OBHG actively works to support and cultivate our clinician leaders. To reinforce that commitment, OBHG sponsored its National Clinical Leadership Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 11-12, 2018. Nearly 90 clinical leaders gathered for education, connection and discussion at the annual meeting.
Our on-site clinical leaders participated in group sessions covering topics ranging from leadership to clinician engagement. Our leaders also held a clinical group session addressing maternal mortality.
“The National Clinical Leadership Meeting is arguably our most important meeting of the year,” said OBHG Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Simon. “Our clinical leaders are able to gain important skills that will help them in their day-to-day roles at their program. This meeting also serves as a reminder that each of them is supported by peers across our diverse network and our OBHG support team. These days reenergize our entire clinical management team on our ultimate goal of improving healthcare for women all across the country.”
In addition to educational and collaboration sessions, OBHG clinical leaders participated in multiple networking events, connecting with colleagues from across 32 states. Several standout OBHG Site Directors were honored with Excellence in Clinical Leadership Awards. These included:
Dr. Renee Lockey – OBHG Site Director, Memorial Hospital Central & North, Colorado Springs, CO
Dr. Shana Yeager – OBHG Site Director, Rancho Springs Medical Center, Murrieta, CA
Dr. Michelle Mulder – OBHG Site Director, CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – South, Corpus Christi, TX
Dr. Jim Hardy – OBHG Site Director, UNC Rex Hospital, Raleigh, NC
Dr. Lisa Bukovac – OBHG Site Director, Winchester Medical Center, Staunton VA
Pictured left to right: Dr. Mark Simon (OBHG Chief Medical Officer), Dr. Renee Lockey, (OBHG Site Director), Dr. Shana Yeager (OBHG Site Director), Dr. Michelle Mulder (OBHG Site Director), Dr. Jim Hardy (OBHG Site Director), Dr. Lisa Bukovac (OBHG Site Director), Dr. Chris Swain (OBHG Founder)
We’ve all heard the shocking statistic by now: the U.S. has the highest maternal death rate of any developed country – 26.4 per 100,000 births. USA TODAY has been investigating this issue in its “Deadly Deliveries” series since July, when they repeatedly contacted 75 hospitals in 13 states to find out if they were following best practice safety protocols. Half wouldn’t answer the questions.
As a result, the seemingly inconsistent maternal delivery practices have attracted the attention of U.S. Congress members. Last week, the Congressional House Committee on Ways and Means mailed letters to 15 of the country’s largest hospital systems* that operate more than 900 hospitals and together delivered more than one in five babies in 2015. The committee is requesting that leaders answer questions and provide investigators with copies of their childbirth safety protocols and data on mothers’ deaths and injuries. Hospitals have until November 15 to respond.
So, what can hospitals do to keep women safer during childbirth?
Ob Hospitalist Group (OBHG) team members talk to hospital leaders on a weekly basis about their labor and delivery department’s safety protocols. A primary reason why hospital leaders reach out to OBHG is to enhance patient safety for all pregnant women who come to their hospitals emergently. OBHG’s partners, including CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-South in Corpus Christi, TX, reap the benefits of OBHG’s safety protocols:
“There is a physician here, ready to handle any emergency that arises in our labor and delivery unit,” said Lenora Sevcik, director of women’s services. “They also stand in if there’s an imminent delivery…they are a second opinion for our nursing staff. So, it is a tremendous safety net of having OBHG at our facility.”
As the pioneers of OB hospitalist medicine, OBHG has 12 years of singularly focused experience and currently has 160 hospital partners across 32 states. We believe that OB hospitalist programs are one of the solutions to the growing rate of maternal deaths. Here are some reasons why:
Standardized protocols: OBHG has developed a standard set of protocols for delivery complications such as preeclampsia and postpartum hemorrhage. We have also recently developed a C-section reduction toolkit to combat medically unnecessary C-sections. We track the data within each of our partner hospitals for benchmarking purposes. When a partner falls below a target, OBHG leaders assess the situation and develop an action plan to bring them back up to the standard; when a hospital demonstrates differentiated performance, OBHG leaders access what led to the strong performance and identify opportunities to bring those results to other programs. Because our partner hospitals are part of a 160-hospital network, each hospitalist team has access to others across the country. Clinicians can share scenarios and best practices to educate their peers and further enhance quality of care.
Continual coverage and triage: No matter the day or time, there is an experienced OBHG-employed hospitalist on-site, ready to perform triage and tackle any emergency that may come through the door. Community OB/GYNs can rest assured knowing that their patients will receive the best care if he/she cannot make it to the hospital. Nurses are not expected to lead deliveries. OBHG hospitalists give care to all, regardless of insurance type or prenatal care.
“OBHG hospitalists are there, waiting on emergencies to walk in, so they can have immediate access to medical intervention and to surgical intervention. They are the frontline defense of the life-saving measures that a hospital implements,” said Annette Stier, director of women’s & children’s services at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA.
At a time when the public, and now Congress, is focused on maternal safety, hospitals cannot afford not to implement the measures necessary to reduce malpractice risk and improve patient safety. There is no time like the present to consider an OB hospitalist program; every day delayed is another day mothers are put at risk and hospitals are exposed to potential liability.
If you are interested in find out how an OBHG partnership can benefit your hospital and community, schedule a consultation to find out more.
*List of 15 hospital systems that received letter from Congress:
Adventist Health System, based in Altamonte Springs, Florida; Advocate Aurora Health, Downers Grove, Illinois; Ascension Healthcare, St. Louis, Missouri; Catholic Health Initiatives, Englewood, Colorado; Cleveland Clinic Health System, Cleveland, Ohio; Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tennessee; Dignity Health, San Francisco, California; HCA Healthcare, Nashville, Tennessee; Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, New York; Providence St. Joseph Health, Renton, Washington; Sutter Health, Sacramento, California; Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Dallas, Texas; Trinity Health, Livonia, Michigan; Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
OBHG is now hiring exceptional OB/GYNs for highly desirable new positions and programs in the Lone Star State!
We are seeking candidates for two programs in one of our newest additions to the Texas market - family-friendly El Paso.
Opportunities for outdoor adventures abound in the area - explore the Guadalope mountains, desert terrain, fantastic camping, and the famous Rio Grande.
Named one of the safest big city in the country, it’s also highly walkable, culturally diverse, and boasts a low cost of living, beautiful long range views, numerous festivals, the largest urban park in the U.S., and 305 days of sunshine a year.
Physicians who join this program are getting in on the ground floor in a market with enormous growth potential, and will have privileges at both hospitals.
This position also offers a generous sign on bonus/relocation assistance.
Lubbock offers a low cost of living, excellent school systems, and nearby Texas Tech University along with pleasant, mild weather and an abundance of sunshine.
Popular outdoor activities include hiking, biking, mountain climbing, and wonderful camping in addition to numerous golf courses, lakes and parks to explore.
The city has many arts and cultural attractions to visit, and has been named the “Napa Valley of the South” as it is home to five unique wineries. The region produces 80 percent of the state’s wine grapes and hosts an annual Wines and Vines Festival.
The hospital offers a level III C NICU, a maternal-fetal medicine center, antepartum high-risk suites, and private labor, delivery, surgical birthing, recovery and mother-baby suites, as well as ongoing educational programs for new families.
We are currently hiring hospitalists for several new programs in the dynamic Houston area.
These positions offer lucrative compensation and the chance to work in a growing region with a high density of OBHG programs and cross-privileging opportunities.
Houston is the most diverse and populous city in Texas, and the fourth most populous city in the country. It's home to the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.
The city boasts 160 golf courses, the Houston Bay area for water sports, and literally hundreds of parks and green spaces. Houstonites love the amazing award-winning cuisine, thriving arts scene, and metropolitan yet down-home vibe.
In an era of widespread physician burnout, OBHG understands the importance of work/life balance for our valued clinicians. Our full-time roles come with responsibility, influence, excitement, and autonomy, but also allow enough time off for a fulfilling personal and family life.
OBHG certified midwives Aspen Green and Natalie Martina recently coauthored an article for Midwifery Today titled “Smooth Transitions: Making Hospital Transfers Better.”
The article, aimed at hospital providers and home or birth center-based providers, provides tips for improving transfers from a home or birth center to a hospital setting. As hospitalist nurse midwives who assume the care of women transferring from a home or birth center to the hospital, Green and Martina are focused on making hospital transfers as smooth as possible for all involved, especially the mother. Read the full article here.
Please join us in congratulating Drs. Rakhi Dimino and Jane Van Dis on their recent appointments to the 2018/2019 Society of OB/GYN Hospitalists (SOGH) board of directors.
Founded in 2011, the Society of OB/GYN Hospitalists (SOGH) is a rapidly growing group of physicians, midwives, nurses and other individuals in the healthcare field who support the OB/GYN Hospitalist model.
Dr. Dimino joined OBHG in 2013. She works as an OB hospitalist in Houston, TX and serves as a Medical Director of Operations for OBHG. Dr. Van Dis joined OBHG in 2013. She serves as an OB hospitalist in Bakersfield, CA and also as OBHG's Medical Director for Business Development.
The 2018/2019 SOGH election of board members was held at the Annual SOGH Business Meeting on September 29.
We are proud to announce our new partnership with Plantation General Hospital in Plantation, FL! OBHG kicked off our 18th program of 2018 in mid-September as a full-time Type A obstetric emergency department. Plantation General Hospital is part of the HCA East Florida Division.
“We are very excited to be expanding our partnership with the HCA East Florida division by welcoming Plantation General Hospital to the OBHG family," said Ryan Vaughan, director of hospital operations. "By entering into our fourth program with HCA here in South Florida, it’s clear that they understand and value our commitment to elevate the standard of women’s healthcare. We look forward to helping them maintain their excellence as a respected institution to the community they serve."
The hospitalist team for the new program includes (From L to R): Ryan Vaughan (DHO), Dr. David Mateo, Dr. Melvin Seid (backup), Dr. Isidro Martinez, Dr. Shelby Wilbourn, Dr. Jason Swineford, Madeline Nava, CEO, Dr. Lisa Sanches (locum) and Dr. Sue Smith (MDO). Dr. Martinez will serve as Team Lead for the program.
Thank you to Plantation General Hospital for your partnership, and we look forward to serving the women in your community together!
Later this week, our team will be heading to the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) 2018 Annual Conference. This year’s event will be held October 7 – 10 in Nashville, Tennessee.
ASHRM serves a well-educated and engaged membership of more than 6,000 health care risk management and patient safety professionals and we are a proud supporter of ASHRM.
If you are attending ASHRM2018, be sure to stop by our booth in the Solution Center, #228. Our risk, quality and compliance team will be on hand to talk with risk management and patient safety professionals about our programs and how we understand the regulatory environment and OB-specific scoring required to optimize facility fee revenue. Our team can also share information about our best practices in areas such as pre-term evaluation, C-section reduction, collaboration with MFMs and emergent delivery management.
We look forward to seeing you soon. Be sure to mark your calendar for Sunday, October 7th from 5:15 – 7 p.m. when champagne will be served at our booth. See you in Nashville!
The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world and it continues to increase. OBHG Chief Medical Director Dr. Mark Simon and Medical Director of Operations, Dr. Rakhi Dimino recently co-authored an article that was published by The Hill about the need for a new approach to labor and delivery to protect pregnant mothers and babies.
According to Drs. Simon and Dimino, there are many factors behind the maternal mortality tragedy, with too little emphasis on maternal/fetal safety and an obstetric model in which delays in care are inevitable being high on the list.
To lower the dismal maternal mortality rate, Drs. Simon and Dimino recommend the implementation of safety protocols developed through the Alliance Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) as well as the adoption of new care models such as OB hospitalist programs. There are other important changes that must be made to improve health outcomes for women and babies, but Drs. Simon and Dimino believe that improving the traditional labor and delivery and postpartum model must be a priority.
OBHG is celebrating National Midwifery Week, which runs from September 30 to October 6, 2018.
National Midwifery Week was created by the American College of Nurse-Midwives to honor midwives and midwife-led care.
Follow the hashtags #NMW2018 #MidwivesMakeaDifference on social media for articles, materials and tips to share.
OBHG currently employs about 40 certified nurse-midwives, and we expect that number to increase in the future. Many of our physicians also work alongside CNMs within their hospital programs.
Read more about how one of our Colorado hospitalists is collaborating with community midwives.
We'd like to welcome our latest partner to the OBHG family! Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, located in Albany, GA, kicked off their full-time Type A OBED earlier this month, making this OBHG's 17th new program of 2018.
The hospitalist team at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital includes (L to R) Dr. Tyndal Jones, Dr. Davis Sullivan, Dr. Michael Bowman and Dr. Betty Koukis. Dr. Kiesha Callins (not pictured) will provide part-time and back-up coverage. Dr. Sullivan will serve as Team Lead for the program.
Our OB hospitalist team looks forward to partnering with Phoebe Putney and community OB/GYNs to elevate women's healthcare in the Albany area!
Each quarter, our Ob Hospitalist Group (OBHG) colleagues commend their peers for going above and beyond with the OBHG You Delivered! peer-to-peer recognition program.
OBHG's leadership team selects one clinician and one support staff member to receive the You Delivered! award for their outstanding performance.
Dr. Theresa Castillo, hospitalist at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center in Houston, Texas, is our clinical winner this quarter.
Dr. Castillo was commended for serving as “an excellent leader, always going above and beyond for the members of her team.” Dr. Castillo “has a genuine heart and works positively together to get the job done in the best way possible. The Cy-Fair team is very appreciative to have someone with her character, working alongside them, in effort to improve women's healthcare and patient safety.”
Jaquie Gilbert, Supervisor of Credentialing, is our Support Team winner this quarter. Jaquie was praised for ensuring that a co-worker's transition to a new role went smoothly. “From the time she started to teach me how to perform my role, she has been nothing but patient. On numerous occasions, she has stopped what she was doing to show me (or sometimes show me again) how to perform a task. I couldn't even begin to count the number of times I have had to ask for clarification to ensure I was completing a task correctly. Each time, she exhibited grace,” wrote Jaquie’s nominator. “There are some people who naturally emulate our core values. Jaquie Gilbert is certainly one of them.”
Congratulations to Dr. Castillo and Jaquie!
Ob Hospitalist Group is celebrating the long-serving clinicians who carry out our mission and transform care for mothers and babies every day.
Dr. Charrell Thomas, one of the first physicians to join the OBHG team, has worked as a hospitalist since 2008 and now serves as team lead at Memorial Hospital – Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida.
Dr. Thomas says the OB hospitalist concept was very new when she first started with OBHG.
“I spent a significant amount of time explaining my role - both to the patients and to the other providers here in the hospital."
"Private physicians were often reticent in the beginning, not sure how their patients would be managed. Over time, the OB hospitalists have become integral to the running of our OBED and every private utilizes our services, without exception.”
Dr. Thomas came to work with OBHG after hearing a talk by founder Dr. Chris Swain at a departmental meeting.
“I had entered the private practice arena and was nearing the end of a two-year contract when Dr. Swain came to Memorial and presented the concept at the OB Department meeting," she says.
"I spoke with him and indicated that if the program ever came to fruition at Memorial, I was interested.
“My contract came to an end and I had accepted a position in Houston, Texas. Two days before we were to fly out to house hunt in Texas, Dr. Swain contacted me to let me know that a program would be starting at Memorial in the next few months. When I explained that I was scheduled to fly out and start my new position in several weeks, he made a few phone calls and called me back to offer me a job. The rest is history!”
Medical Director of Operations Dr. Sue Smith says Dr. Thomas has been an incredible asset to the Memorial Hospital program.
“Dr. Thomas has been a loyal, dedicated, and committed physician to OBHG for 10 years. She has devoted herself to intervening in countless emergencies and providing other valuable services that have increased the standard and quality of care to thousands of women in the Jacksonville area.
“In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Thomas’ leadership as team lead and her interactions with hospital leadership during the 10 years of our partnership have played a crucial role in the success of our program," says Dr. Smith.
"It has been a pleasure to work with her over the past several years and I look forward to continuing to do so in the future."
Dr. Charrell Thomas attended Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Va., and received her medical degree from University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Va. She completed residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. She also serves as OB consultant for the Duval County Health Department. Thank you for your service, Dr. Thomas!
In health care, the term "second victim," is an increasingly recognized phenomenon following an unexpected adverse patient event, medical error and/or patient related injury. Patients and their loved ones are the first victims, but a health care professional can experience emotional aftershock and feel traumatized following an adverse patient event.
More OB/GYN programs are recognizing the need for "second victim" support. OBHG's Dr. Charlie Jaynes recently spoke with MdEdge ObGyn about the second victim phenomenon and OBHG's unique CARE (Clinician Assistance, Recovery & Encouragement) program, the nation's first large scale obstetrics peer-support program for second victims. Read the full article here.
We’re just days away from the Society of OB/GYN Hospitalists (SOGH) Annual Clinical Meeting, scheduled this year for September 27-30 in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. This event brings together physicians, midwives, nurses and others who support the OB/GYN hospitalist model.
We couldn’t be more excited for this year’s meeting, which is packed with workshops, speaking sessions addressing important issues in obstetrics and OB hospitalist care and opportunities to network.
Our partnership with SOGH is important to our organization. We’re proud that so many of our clinicians are leading the OB/GYN hospitalist profession by serving on SOGH committees, serving as SOGH officers and helping to develop the SOGH core competencies.
We look forward to seeing our friends and colleagues at this year’s annual meeting.
Curious to discover what makes the Ob Hospitalist Group so unique? Visit us in the HOPE E hall in the Hilton Cleveland Downtown to talk directly with our clinicians and team members or catch one of our hospitalists in one of the sessions.
SOGH 8th Annual Clinical Meeting
September 27-30, 2018
The Hilton Cleveland Downtown
We are pleased to announce our 16th new hospital partner of 2018, TriStar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, located just outside of Nashville, TN.
The program at TriStar is a full-time obstetrics emergency department. The hospitalist team includes (from L to R) Dr. Jory Burroughs, Dr. Darrington Altenburn, Dr. Heather Moss, Dr. Elosha Eiland, Dr. Andrew Chern, and Dr. John Wilters. Dr. Alisa Bowersock (not pictured) will serve as back-ups at this program. Dr. Wilters will serve as Team Lead for the program.
"We are excited to partner with TriStar Summit, our first hospital in the HCA TriStar division," said OBHG Director of Hospital Operations Kristen Fuentealba. "They clearly see the vision of the need to elevate health care for women by providing the opportunity for every women presenting to labor and delivery to be seen by an OB/GYN. We look forward to helping them grow their women’s health care service line."
OBHG is proud to be a part of TriStar Summit and our team is looking forward to serving the women of the Nashville, TN, area!
OBHG’s CARE (Clinician Assistance, Recovery & Encouragement) peer support program is getting industry attention. Recently, Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare highlighted how CARE supports clinicians who may suffer from the psychological/emotional impacts of an adverse patient event.
Through the OBHG CARE (Clinician Assistance, Recovery & Encouragement) Program, trained peers support OBHG colleagues in an atmosphere of confidentiality, empathy, trust, and respect in the immediate aftermath of a negative patient care-related event.
It is believed to be the first large-scale obstetrics peer-support program in the country, available to more than 600 OBHG clinicians at over 120 hospitals in the U.S.
The CARE program is designed to address the well-documented concept of the “second victim.” A wide body of research has found that when healthcare providers are involved in an unanticipated patient event, a medical error and/or a patient-related injury, they often feel as though they have failed the patient, second guessing their clinical skills and knowledge base.
Read the Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare article here.
OBHG is proud to announce our 15th new partnership of 2018! In August, we launched our OB hospitalist program at The Hospitals of Providence Memorial Campus in El Paso, TX. The program is a full-time, Type A obstetrics emergency department.
"I am truly excited about our newest partnership with The Hospitals of Providence Memorial campus," said OBHG Regional Vice President of Operations Will McDonald. "This system has been faithfully serving El Paso since 1902. Generations of families have chosen The Hospital of Providence for their healthcare needs. Within the first two hours the program starting on August 29, one of our physicians, Dr. Jose Aun, had a life save, which reinforced the need to ensure that every expectant mother receives care by an experienced physician."
The hospitalist team includes (from L to R) Dr. Jose Aun, Dr. Kathryn Randall, Dr. Anila Ricks-Cord, Dr. Shayla Nesbitt and Dr. Todd Bashuk; Medical Director of Operations. Dr. Aun will serve as Team Lead for the program. Not pictured: Dr. Michael Schaffer and Interim team; Dr. Nkechi Ezirim and Dr. Patience Miller.
We look forward to serving the women of El Paso as we partner with the hospital and community OB/GYNs!
They are the ones who care for the most vulnerable newborns, those born prematurely and with low birthweight, birth defects, infection, and other medical challenges. Neonatal nurses not only need the knowledge to negotiate around tubes and precise IV dosages and monitors and incubators, but they also must have the gentlest touch to nurture and comfort both babies and their families during a difficult time. It takes a very special person to work in this field, and this week we honor neonatal nurses for their commitment, professionalism, and caring.
National Neonatal Nurses Week is celebrated every year beginning with Neonatal Nurses Day on September 15. The observance was established in 2000 by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) as a way to celebrate all the women (and men) in their profession who provide aid and comfort every day to vulnerable newborns and their families.
Neonatal nursing is a relatively young profession that began in the 1960s after the tragic death of President John F. Kennedy’s newborn son, Patrick, from respiratory distress and under-developed lungs. Patrick was born just three weeks’ prematurely — a circumstance that is hardly life-threatening by today’s standards. Yet the baby succumbed to respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), because his premature lungs did not produce an important protein- based coating that prevents the collapse of small air sacs in the lung. The March of Dimes estimates that more than 16,000 premature infants suffer from RDS in the United States each year. Today, 95% of these preemies survive RDS. Patrick’s death put the national spotlight on saving premature babies and led to the development of the modern Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
A NICU nurse spends more time at the baby’s bedside than most of the healthcare team and cares for the tiny patient usually until discharge. Today infants born as early as 25 weeks are surviving more often because of technological and medical advances and because of the acute skills and expertise of NICU nurses and physicians.
This year's Neonatal Nurses Day theme, "We save babies," aptly describes the attributes of today’s neonatal nurses.
It may seem like the pinprick heard round the world. If your newborn screams, don’t be dismayed. Your baby is more startled by the prick than anything else. The pain is gone almost before it begins. And you’re doing the right thing by letting hospital staff draw a few drops of blood from your newborn’s heel.
September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month. Parents must be advocates for their children by ensuring that their hospital completes a full health screening of their newborn. There are several types of newborn screening, including basic physical exam, hearing screening, blood spot testing, and pulse oximetry testing for heart defects.
These screenings are critical in identifying diseases or abnormalities long before a child experiences symptoms. Early detection and treatment can prevent disability, permanent damage, or even death. These screenings usually are routine in the hospital, but if for any reason a baby is not properly screened at the hospital, or if a baby is born outside of a hospital, they should be screened within a few days of birth at an appropriate medical facility.
The first screening your newborn should receive is a routine physical examination (often by a pediatrician) to measure weight, length, and head circumference. The doctor then examines the baby’s skin, head and neck, heart and lungs, and abdomen and genitals. In addition, the baby’s nervous system and reflexes are checked.
Newborns also should have their hearing checked. Newborn screenings for hearing are quick and painless. Experts recommend they be conducted no later than 1 month of age and preferably before leaving the hospital. These screenings are so subtle that they often can be conducted while the baby is asleep. If hearing loss is detected, an audiologist and otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat physician) will determine the level of loss and whether treatment is warranted. If the hearing loss is permanent, hearing aids and speech/language services usually are recommended.
The newborn blood screening can detect such disorders as sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, and phenylketonuria (PKU, a condition that can cause nervous system problems, brain damage, and mental disability). Every state has its own newborn screening program and may test for different conditions. Some states have more comprehensive screening lists than others.
Many hospitals routinely screen newborns for Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHDs) using a method called pulse oximetry, which gauges the amount of oxygen in the blood and measures pulse rate. Pulse oximetry can detect CCHDs in some infants before they have any symptoms. If a defect is found, the infant can be evaluated by a cardiologist and receive special care to prevent disability or premature death. Some hospitals routinely administer pulse oximetry screening, but it is not routinely conducted in all states, so parents might wish to inquire about it.
Meet Dr. Michael White, our lead hospitalist at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, CO. Dr. White recently performed surgery to deliver a baby and remove a uterus at the same time (to decrease the patient’s cancer risk).
A feature story about Dr. White was recently published in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Get to know more about Dr. White’s role as a hospitalist at St. Mary’s, what a typical day is like, and the passion he has for the patients he cares for. Read the full story here.
The journey starts here! Ob Hospitalist Group has announced a new option for talented OB/GYNs interested in practicing hospitalist medicine - the Diplomat program.
The popular program offers physicians the opportunity to improve patient outcomes and gain professional and clinical experience in a variety of hospital facilities and settings while earning a highly competitive salary. Obstetricians with a passion for patient care, a flexible nature, and an intrepid spirit are encouraged to explore the program's many rewards.
In addition to attractive compensation, our full-time traveling hospitalists enjoy medical benefits, a CME allowance, medical malpractice insurance, comprehensive leadership training, access to a supportive internal network of nearly 700 OB/GYN colleagues, a wide array of unique clinician resources, and satisfying work/ life balance.
Because OBHG manages obstetric emergency departments across 32 states, and our national footprint is constantly growing, Diplomat OBs never wonder when or if they'll get another position. The work is guaranteed, and clinicians are notified of their next assignment months in advance. We also handle privileging and credentialing, and cover housing and travel expenses.
OBHG welcomes our 14th new hospital partnership of 2018, St. Mary's Hospital in Athens, GA. The program began on Aug. 8 as a Type A obstetrics emergency department.
The hospitalist team at Saint Mary’s Hospital includes (From L to R) Dr. Samit Patel, Dr. Jocelyn Rogers, Dr. Tressa Scineaux and Dr. Karen Hamilton. Dr. Patel will serve as Team Lead for the program.
We are excited to have a partnership in the Athens community and look forward to serving the families and OB/GYNs in the area!
The following OBHG partner hospitals were recently recognized as top-ranked regional hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018-2019 annual review of its best hospitals.
We congratulate our hospital partners for earning this prestigious distinction. We are proud to be your partner in elevating the standard of women’s healthcare in your community!
OBHG hospital partners recognized as best regional hospitals based on performance in delivering complex and common care:
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center/Alta Bates campus - Berkeley, CA
Baptist Hospital – Miami, FL
Chandler Regional Medical Center - Chandler, AZ
Christus Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler, TX
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula - Monterey, CA
El Camino Hospital/Mountain View campus – Mountain View, CA
Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital – Houston, TX
Huntington Memorial Hospital – Pasadena, CA
Inova Women’s Hospital – Falls Church, VA
Mary Washington Hospital – Fredericksburg, VA
Mease Countryside Hospital – Safety Harbor, FL
Memorial Medical Center - Springfield, IL
Memorial Regional Medical Center – Mechanicsville, VA
Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines, IA
Mississippi Baptist Medical Center – Jackson, MS
Morton Plant Hospital – Clearwater, FL
North Mississippi Medical Center – Tupelo, MS
Norton Hospital/Downtown – Louisville, KY
Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center – Fountain Valley, CA
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center – Burbank, CA
Providence St. Peter Hospital – Olympia, WA
Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Sarasota, FL
Sharp Grossman Hospital – La Mesa, CA
Spartanburg Medical Center – Spartanburg, SC
St. David’s Medical Center – Austin, TX
St. Francis Eastside – Greenville, SC
St. Francis Medical Center – Midlothian, VA
St. John Medical Center – Tulsa, OK
St. Joseph Medical Center – Tacoma, WA
St. Mary’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center – Grand Junction, CO
St. Mary’s Hospital – Richmond, VA
St. Vincent Evansville - Evansville, IN
Ob Hospitalist Group is excited to announce that we have partnered with three South Carolina hospitals to develop three new obstetric emergency departments:
Charleston - Bon Secours St. Francis
Columbia - Palmetto Health Baptist
Florence - McLeod Regional Medical Center
OBHG’s presence improves patient safety and satisfaction, makes life easier for local OB/GYNs, and ensures that every pregnant woman who presents to the hospital is seen by an experienced physician.
We are currently seeking exceptionally skilled obstetricians to join our new SC teams!
Our hospitalist and leadership positions offer:
- Competitive compensation
- Full benefits
- CME allowance
- Medmal with tail
- Unparalleled clinician support and resources
- Superior work/life balance
OBHG is excited to announce its 13th new partnership of 2018! We began a new OB hospitalist program with UCHealth's Memorial Hospital North in Colorado Springs, CO, in early August.
The hospitalist team includes (from left to right) Dr. Eileen Coelus, Dr. James Steigerwald, Dr. Stephanie Ring, Dr. Renee Lockey, Dr. Tamara Willis-Buckley, and Dr. Caroline Hedges. Dr. Lockey will serve as Team Lead for the program.
The OBHG team is looking forward to its new partnership with the hospital as well as community OB/GYNs in helping to elevate the standard of women's healthcare in Colorado Springs!
OBHG has been named to Inc. 5000’s Hall of Fame for being named one of the fastest-growing private companies in America for six consecutive years.
Released annually, the Inc. 5000 is widely considered a standard of excellence for organizational growth and financial success. The 2018 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to verified percentage revenue growth when comparing 2014 to 2017.
OBHG is ranked 3,582 in 2018 in part due to a 105% growth in revenue over the last three years. Of the tens of thousands of companies that have applied to the Inc. 5000 over the years, only a fraction has made the list more than once.
Founded in 2006, OBHG’s national network has grown to include nearly 700 dedicated OB clinicians in more than
in 130 hospitals across 32 states. This growth means more expectant mothers have access to immediate care when presenting to the hospital with obstetrical complaints regardless of time, location, complication, or circumstance.
“We are honored to be named among the nation’s fastest growing companies for six years in a row,” said OBHG CEO Lenny Castiglione. “It’s an accomplishment we attribute to the partnerships we’ve formed with our hospital partners, community physicians and the dedication of our clinicians and team members. OBHG’s growth is a clear indication that we are filling a need in obstetrics and that our services are valued by patients, hospitals and community physicians alike.”
Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found here.
OBHG recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its successful partnership with St. David’s North Austin Medical Center. Since July 2008, OBHG clinicians have provided 24/7 coverage for St. David’s Labor and Delivery unit, Obstetric Emergency Department and most recently, management of maternal-fetal transports.
“Our partnership with OBHG is amazing,” said Tammy Phares, perinatal services manager at St. David’s North Austin. “I never knew how important an OB hospitalist program was until I worked here. It’s such a sense of security having an OB hospitalist here. They (OBHG hospitalists) are always here and ready to help all of us, including our private physicians whenever they need help in the OR or on the unit. Not only are they (OBGH hospitalists) highly skilled but they are also kind-hearted. I wouldn’t hesitate to have any of them take care of my family.”
“OBHG is proud to have partnered with St. David’s North Austin Medical Center for the past 10 years,” said Will McDonald, OBHG regional vice president of operations. “The strong clinical capabilities of our clinicians coupled with the collaboration our clinicians have with the private OBs is why our partnership with St. David’s North has been so successful. We look forward to continuing our partnership for years to come.”
To mark the occasion, an anniversary celebration event was held, which included a presentation of a 10-year plaque from Lenny Castiglione, OBHG chief executive officer to Tom Jackson, CEO of St. David’s North Austin Medical Center.
Thank you to the team at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center for your ongoing partnership and dedication to elevating the standard of women’s healthcare in your community!
In 2016, OBHG and one of our system partners undertook a study to analyze the key risk mitigation strategies that resulted in favorable loss trends/claim reduction for the system in recent years. The study found that a 31 percent reduction in perinatal serious-harm events at hospitals was attributable to one factor: implementation of an OB hospitalist program at those facilities.
Ob Hospitalist Group's Heather Moore, Director of Risk Management, Quality, and Compliance, recently wrote a piece for Risk & Insurance about how companies can strategically minimize, rather than manage, risk.
Read the full article here.
Dr. Elliott Roberts, an OBHG team lead at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, TN, discusses why the OB hospitalist lifestyle works so well for him.
In the article, Dr. Simon offers his perspective on how physician leaders can communicate with fellow care team members in order to improve operations and ensure patient safety. Read the full article here.
OBHG is happy to announce our 12th new partnership of 2018! In July, we began our obstetrics hospitalist program at Norman Regional Hospital in Norman, OK, as a Type A OB emergency department. This is our second partnerhsip in Oklahoma, along with St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.
"Our implementation of services at Norman Regional Health System has been a very rewarding experience," said OBHG Director of Hospital Operations Christi Acker. "Through education, dedication, and persistence OBHG and NRHS partnered to achieve the first OBED approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. We are excited to bring an elevated level of service and safety to the women of Norman and their babies."
The hospitalist team at Norman Regional Hospital includes: front row, left to right: Dr. Becky Graham and Dr. Karen Sargent. Back row, left to right: Dr. Kinde Aguilar, Dr. Trent Fogleman (backup) and Dr. Michael Collins. Not pictured: Dr. Tiffany Weathers (backup). Dr. Graham will serve as Team Lead for the program.
A national physician shortage is looming and OB/GYNs are one of the top specialties at risk. An OB/GYN shortage represents both patient and organizational risk.
Healthcare executives who are proactive in their workaround strategies will be best prepared if and/or when OB shortages threaten their organizations. OBHG Medical Director of Operations, Dr. Donald Toatley, recently shared four ways that hospitals and health system administrators can protect their organizations from the projected exodus with Becker’s Hospital Review.
To read Dr. Toatley’s recommendations for health leaders click here.
Ob Hospitalist Group CEO, Lenny Castiglione, was quoted in a recent article in Chief Executive on the role of a private equity CEO.
Excerpt from the Chief Executive article:
“It always sounds so enticing when someone says we have this company, and we just invested and it’s going to be three years of growth and a great payout—it all sounds great,” says Lenny Castiglione, CEO of PE-owned OB Hospitalist Group. To evaluate the deal, he adds, “You have to take emotion out of it.”
Read the whole article here.
The new Ob Hospitalist Group CARE (Clinician Assistance, Recovery & Encouragement) peer support program was recently featured in the "Hospitalist movers and shakers" section of the Society of Hospital Medicine site The Hospitalist.
CARE is a unique initiative designed to support clinicians who are suffering from the psychological/emotional impact of an unexpected and adverse obstetrical event.
The program is available to nearly 700 clinicians employed by OBHG at partner hospitals across the U.S.
"We have created an environment that our patients have come to expect and enjoy a higher level of care," said Rene Tovar, executive director of speciality care services at LLUMC – Murrieta. "Our priority is to take care of the patient first and ensure their needs are met during the most critical times."
OBHG has published its inaugural Progress Notes, which details our perspective on industry trends, investments we've made, and successes we've had over the past year.
Bringing together a network of physicians with disparate shifts and geographic locations isn’t easy. Yet it’s important for clinicians to have an effective way to collaborate and network.
Just one of the many benefits Ob Hospitalist Group offers to its clinicians is its “Ob Exchange” online community.
This platform allows clinicians the opportunity to work together to solve medical problems and share knowledge through improved communication and collaboration across all aspects of patient care.
We recently published an article detailing how we built the platform and how it has allowed our clinicians to come together and exchange information. Not only has Ob Exchange become the primary location for professional connections, collaboration and community support, but it has also allowed our support teams to develop and grow with each other.
Read the article
Since OBHG's inception in 2006, we have celebrated many new partnerships. But this month we get to celebrate a first! Baycare's Winter Haven Hospital in Winter Haven, FL, is the first of our partners to hit their 10-year anniversary with us. They began their OBHG partnership in July 2008, and our team there continues to thrive.
"Winter Haven Women’s Hospital has been in partnership with OBHG for 10 years now – it has been a great partnership and has served our community extremely well over the years," said Jennifer Richards, director of patient care services at Winter Haven Hospital. "Our mothers and newborns receive compassionate, competent care from the hospitalists, and this consistently translates into them receiving top quartile patient satisfaction scores."
"OBHG is proud to have partnered with Winterhaven Hospital for the past 10 years. As part of our partnership with the Baycare Health System on the West Coast of Florida, we look forward to expanding our services as the hospital transitions to a new OBED," said Donna Lindsey, OBHG regional vice president of operations.
Thank you to the team at Winter Haven for your ongoing partnership and dedication to elevating the standard of women's healthcare in your community!
Dr. Marc Zepeda, an OBHG hospitalist at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-McKinney in McKinney, TX, recently wrote an op-ed published in D CEO Healthcare magazine outlining three things obstetricians and healthcare workers can do to help reduce maternal mortality in Texas and across the U.S. Read the article here.
The maternal mortality rate is astonishingly high across the U.S., and the Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care is doing something about it. In 2015, the Council developed the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) to "eliminate preventable maternal mortality and severe morbidity across the United States." Currently, there 22 participating states, including Texas, which announced earlier this year that 166 hospitals were enrolled.
Ob Hospitalist Group is pleased to announce that we are entering the Maryland market! We are excited to be partnering with Carroll Hospital in Westminster to develop a brand new obstetric emergency department and hospitalist program.
Carroll Hospital is an acute care and surgical facility that has served the Westminster community for more than 55 years. It is home to a level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), private birthing suites, a maternal-fetal medicine program for high-risk pregnancies, and educational classes for new parents.
Westminster boasts a robust arts and culture scene, a charming downtown, and lots of outdoor recreation options. It's an easily commutable distance from Baltimore, Gettysburg (Pennsylvania), and the Washington, D.C. area.
OBHG hospitalists enjoy full-time positions with competive compensation, full benefits, paid medical malpractice insurance with tail, phenomenal physician support, and greater work/life balance. Part-time and travel positions, depending on the location and program, are available as well.
Leadership and advancement opportunities abound - along with predictable schedules, fewer shifts, minimal administrative burdens, and the fulfillment that comes with caring for the moms and babies who need your expertise the most.
If you are interested in exploring our new Maryland openings or would like to apply, please contact our Senior Clinical Recruiter Liz Selfridge for more information.
OBHG hospitalists are highly skilled clinicians who are in our partner hospitals 24/7/365. We asked our partners and a family who recently welcomed a new baby at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-South in Corpus Christi, TX, what would happen if OBHG weren't there during an emergency. Watch the video to find out what they said.
Good Samaritan Hospital's partnership with OBHG was recently featured in the news. The Suffern, NY hospital began its partnership with OBHG in 2017 on a part-time basis as an obstetrics triage, but it has recently transitioned to the only full-time obstetrics emergency department in the Hudson Valley.
OBHG is proud to partner with Good Samaritan to help elevate the standard of women's care across the community. Read the article here.
OBHG is proud to announce its 11th new hospital partnership of 2018! Earlier this month, we launched a full-time OB triage at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Murrieta, CA.
"LLU Murietta is committed to becoming the premier women’s center in the area, one which is growing faster than any other region in the state," said Kristina Mangia, director of hospital operations. "With the addition of the OBHG program, they are now able to provide the level of care and clinical excellence that the community has come to expect. We are looking forward to the growth that the woman’s services service line can now expect to see with the addition of the laborist program. LLU Murietta administration is very supportive of the program, and we have Dr. Le, a fantastic team lead at the helm."
The hospitalist team includes (pictured L to R) Dr. Donald Toatley, medical director of operations; Dr. Tam Le; Dr. Mylinda Bielman; Dr. Maryanne Hannaney; Dr. Leopoldo Valdivia; and Kristina Mangia, director of hospital operations.
Ob Hospitalist Group, the nation's largest dedicated employer of OB hospitalists and the most experienced company in the industry, is seeking board-certified OB/GYNs for several open positions in desirable locations across the U.S.
If you're a highly skilled, passionate, and service-minded obstetrician ready to practice the medicine you love while enjoying an average of 21 days off per month, we would like to talk with you!
A few of our current open positions:
OBHG is excited to be entering the Connecticut market! We are partnering with a facility in Waterbury to develop a new hospitalist program.
Waterbury is the ninth-largest city in New England and part of the Central Naugatuck Valley Region. It's an easily commutable distance from several cities in New York such as Poughkeepsie and Yonkers.
The town boasts the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, several museums and theaters, two amusement parks, an artisan marketplace and a charming downtown. Residents also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as golf, hiking, biking and running at Mattatuck State Forest.
Our hospital program in Lafayette, Louisiana is nestled in the heart of exuberant Cajun & Creole country. Lafayette was named the ‘Happiest City in America’ in 2016! It's located near Baton Rouge and the LSU campus, and is less than three hours from New Orleans.
We are seeking candidates for two programs in one of our newest additions to the Texas market - family-friendly El Paso. Opportunities for outdoor adventures abound in the local area - explore mountains, desert terrain, and the Rio Grande!
Named one of the safest big city in the country, it’s also highly walkable, and boasts a low cost of living, beautiful mountain views, numerous festivals, the largest urban park in the U.S. and 305 days of sunshine a year.
Contact our Senior Clinical Recruiter Jason Fyler for more information.
We are seeking an experienced physician to fill one of our most prestigious roles - Site Medical Director for our hospital program in the San Francisco Bay Area - one of the most diverse, influential, and dynamic cities in the world.
The ideal candidate will be a natural leader able to effectively guide a large medical team.
Contact our Senior Clinical Recruiter Jason Tafoya for more information.
One of our newest hospital programs in Plantation, Florida is mere minutes from some of the most exciting coastal destinations in the country - including Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Miami!
In an era of widespread physician burnout, OBHG understands the importance of work/life balance for our valued clinicians. Our full-time roles come with responsibility, influence, excitement, and autonomy, but also allow enough time off for a fulfilling personal and family life. Read some of our physicians' personal stories.
Intrigued? For more information about the positions highlighted here along with all our current job opportunities, contact the clinical recruiter seeking candidates in your region.
Our expert recruiters, all skilled in health care and physician placement, will answer your questions about the hospitalist lifestyle, discuss how our programs work, and explain what you can expect from the hiring process.
Most of us recognize quality when we see it. But having good data increases our confidence in the quality of care we provide.
That’s why Ob Hospitalist Group is committed to providing robust and comprehensive data reporting on all elements of performance by our partner programs, including quality. OBHG collects, audits, and analyzes our partner hospital data on a quarterly basis to monitor performance and identify areas of opportunity.
We regularly provide customized data reports to our partner hospitals so they can see, in straightforward terms, exactly how we’re performing for them. These reports may include utilization performance, quality metric trending, facility and professional fee performance, and more, depending on the needs of our partners. It’s a way to hold us accountable for the value we deliver our partner hospitals in terms of obstetric unit operations and OB/GYN hospitalist care.
Established in 2006, OBHG today operates more OB hospitalist programs than all of our competitors across the nation combined. Our standards are so high, we consistently have outperformed our promises on safety metrics. In fact, OBHG outperforms the national average on all National Quality Forum (NQF) metrics that we track.
But we don’t stop there.
If we don’t achieve (or exceed) mutually agreed-upon quality goals, our partner hospitals will not pay for a percentage of their contract assigned to quality metric achievement. Guaranteed. No questions asked.
We understand the multi-faceted and complex nature of healthcare delivery in today’s environment. Our partners put their trust in us, and we feel it’s only fair to reciprocate by sharing some of the contract risk. In fact, most of our OBHG programs now include shared financial risk that is customized to the hospital’s goals and perinatal areas of quality improvement.
As healthcare in the United States moves toward risk-sharing, pay-for-performance, and other value-based payment models, OBHG recognizes the continued need to focus on quality metrics and outcomes to optimize the hospital’s revenue potential under the value-based system.
At OBHG, we are committed to quality improvement and transparent reporting on quality performance as a cornerstone of our programs. As such, we stand firmly behind our pledge to deliver on a hospital’s desired quality metrics.
No excuses. Just performance.
OBHG has launched a hospitalist program at Aurora West Allis Medical Center in West Allis, Wisconsin, as a Type A OBED. The new partnership began in late May and is OBHG's 10th program to start in 2018.
"We have worked in great detail with Aurora West Allis Medical Center to form a lasting partnership," said Jami Walker
The hospitalist team at Aurora West Allis Medical Center includes: front row, left to right: Dr. Robert Southwick and Dr. Andrea Valeri. Back row, left to right: Dr. Jennifer Brenton, Dr. Steven Bush (backups), Dr. Stephen Bashuk, and Dr. Holly Ray. Not pictured: Dr. David Dielenthies and Dr. Jason Foil. Dr. Ray will serve as Team Lead for the program.
Dr. Elliott Roberts went from private-practice OB/GYN to OBHG hospitalist at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. Hear what he has to say about his new career path and the partnership that has grown between Ob Hospitalist Group and community OB/GYNs in western Tennessee.
The vast majority of births and deliveries are joyful ones. Families celebrate the wonder of the new addition to their families, and clinicians go home at the end of the day with a sense of pride, deriving meaning from their professional lives. This is one of the reasons that many of us chose obstetrics in the first place.
But unfortunately, that is not always the case.
As an obstetrician, I know firsthand that there is virtually nothing as emotionally wrenching as a baby or mother suffering an injurious complication or dying during childbirth. Unanticipated, bad, even horrific outcomes sometimes happen — even when all precautions have been taken. Even when things are progressing as planned. And even when the team does everything right to manage complications as they arise.
One of the most common questions we get from potential hospital partners is: How will OBHG hospitalists collaborate with our private-practice OB/GYNs? Dr. Kathleen Rasmussen, Regional Medical Director of Women's Services for CHRISTUS Health, answers this question.
Dr. Meredith Davenport, OBHG hospitalist at St. David's Medical Center in Austin, Texas, recently wrote a piece for a LinkedIn series called Hard Cases. In this series, doctors and medical professionals share the toughest challenges they've faced in their careers.
Dr. Davenport was instrumental in the development of OBHG's CARE program, a first-of-its-kind peer support initiative designed to support clinicians who are suffering from the psychological/emotional impact of an unexpected and adverse obstetrical event.
Each June, OBHG and thousands of organizations across the country recognize National Safety Month in an effort to save lives, prevent injuries and raise public awareness.
The observance was founded by the National Safety Council, a 501c3 non-profit that works to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education, and advocacy.
Throughout the month the NSC will highlight four crucial aspects of safe living:
Week 1: Emergency Preparedness
Week 2: Wellness
Week 3: Falls
Week 4: Driving
OBHG’s strong commitment to safety is reflected in every aspect of our life-saving enterprise, whether it's our passion for providing the highest standard of care for every patient, or our dedication to ensuring a consistently safe work environment for our clincial and support teams.
"Our goal is to ensure safe, equitable care to all and to support a culture of safety with our hospital partners," says Manager of Patient Safety and Quality Libby Gardner.
"This commitment is reflected in the caliber of our clinicians, our participation in national organizations, and our leadership in the industry.”
The OBHG program at Metropolitan Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas started May 15 as a Type A OBED. This is OBHG's 9th program to start in 2018.
“I am excited about the new partnership that we now have with Metropolitan Methodist," said OBHG Regional Vice President of Operations Will McDonald. "Having great hospital partners remain critical to OBHG. Our goal is to work with hospitals with whom we have similar strategic goals, similar core values and have the basic fundamental goal to elevate the healthcare of women in the communities we serve”.
The hospitalist team at Metropolitan Methodist Hospital includes Dr. Qurana Vedoy Barajas, Dr. Michael Garcia, Dr. Amelia Cleveland- Traylor, and Dr. Leticia Vargas. The backup hospitalists are Dr. Michael Karagas, Dr. John Kellum, and Dr. Marc Zepeda. Dr. Vargas will serve as Team Lead for the program.
Ob Hospitalist Group invites all OB/GYN physicians to join us for a special roundtable discussion about the future of women’s healthcare.
Network with colleagues, enjoy a complimentary dinner at innovative local eatery Mesh, and find out what the hospitalist lifestyle is really like.
Spouses, partners and guests are welcome to attend.
This event will be hosted by Dr. Charles Rollison and Dr. Keehn Hosier.
Tuesday, June 26th
6:30 - 8:00 pm
3608 Brownsboro Road
An independent OB/GYN group planned to leave Willow Creek Women’s Hospital in northwest Arkansas, taking over 50 percent of the hospital’s deliveries with them. Hospital leadership knew they needed to make a change or else the hospital was at risk of closing. They enlisted the help of Ob Hospitalist Group to take over the obstetric emergency room coverage and to grow and retain volume.
Find out how OBHG helped Willow Creek retain solid footing in the community - read full case study.
Do you want to know what it's really like to be an OBHG partner? Deena Kail shines some light on the seven-year partnership at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, TN. Deena is the executive director of West Tennessee Women's Center and the Ayers Children's Medical Center and was instrumental in building this flourishing partnership.
OBHG is excited to launch its eighth partnership of 2018 at North Central Baptist Hospital in San Antonio, TX. The new program started on April 25 as a Type A obstetrics emergency department.
The hospitalist team at North Central Baptist Hospital includes (left to right): Dr. Misty Vandever, Dr. Martha Schmitz, Dr. Jill Terry, Dr. Christine Van Ramshorst, Dr. Rakhi Dimino; Medical Director of Operations and (front) Dr. Kimberly Chessir. Not pictured: Dr. Ezell Autrey. Dr. Van Ramshorst will serve as Team Lead for the program.
OBHG launched its seventh new partnership of 2018 late last month! The program at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes Barre, PA, features full-time OB triage. We are excited for this new partnership and look forward to elevating the standard of women's healthcare in the Wilkes Barre community.
Front Row from GWV (L to R) Rachel Cunniffe, RN Christina Coats RN and Riddhi Patel UDC and Ob Hospitalist Group’s Dr. Jennifer Reason. Back Row from Ob Hospitalist Group (L to R) Dr. Nicholas Kulbida, Medical Director of Operations, Dr. Renee Hoffman and Dr. Anita Sargent. Not pictured and will serve as backups at this program: Dr. Ethel Hooper and Dr. Fred Smith. Dr. Reason will serve as Team Lead for the program.
Teamwork is the watchword on the Labor and Delivery units in OBHG partner hospitals, and at UCHealth’s Memorial Hospital Central in Colorado Springs, the facility and hospitalist team have extended that teamwork mentality to their community’s midwives.
Amber Rossman, RN, nurse manager at Memorial Hospital Central’s Birth Center, has cultivated positive relationships with community midwives and other providers for nearly two years. Rossman and Dr. Renee Lockey, OBHG team lead at Memorial Hospital Central, spoke about the success of the outreach program.
Laying a foundation
The hospital began the collaboration with the goal of creating a safe transfer environment for patients who had not originally planned for a hospital birth experience, says Rossman. “Varying types of birth services in a community intersect during crucial times for a mother and unborn child."
She notes that hospitalists are uniquely positioned to partner with the hospital and community maternity care providers to serve all patients. There is no perception of competition, since OBHG is dedicated to providing inpatient services only.
“This improves the ability of the hospital to build solid relationships with the community midwives," she says.
Inclusion and respect
The hospital team initially solicited midwives’ input through a questionnaire and later through dialogue and feedback, says Lockey.
UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central holds bi-annual informational meetings for community midwives and up to 18 community providers attend each session, says Rossman. There are now 35 community midwives on the contact list. Connecting with these midwives is important because the hospital’s location, El Paso County, has the highest rate of home births in Colorado.
Lockey says midwife involvement in planning the transfer standards and the treatment their patients receive has resulted in a favorable opinion of UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central’s Labor and Delivery program. The hospital used the Homebirth Summit’s best practice guidelines for transfer from a planned home birth to the hospital to develop the standards.
“We do not make any statements on whether we agree or disagree on any particular kind of care. We make sure that when a client is brought to our doorstep, we treat everyone respectfully, we are welcoming, and we provide the best care to that patient,” says Rossman.
Lockey adds that UCHealth and Ob Hospitalist Group share a mission to be compassionate and nonjudgmental recipients for all patients.
The hospital consistently receives positive feedback about birth experiences from the transferred patients, Rossman notes. In addition, the community clinicians are invited to share their recent transfer stories at the hospital-hosted meetings.
“We continue to hear positive feedback that they were well-received, they were heard, and their clients’ wishes were respected," she says. "They’re coming to us for interventions and those interventions are being discussed in a positive direction and consent is being obtained."
The outreach effort has created a favorable perception, allowing some longtime community midwives to overcome past hospital transfer experiences, says Lockey. The area has three hospitals offering Labor and Delivery services and the local midwives deliberately choose Memorial Hospital Central. Lockey credits this trend in part to hospital outreach efforts and “the reputation we are achieving in providing good, safe, and respectful care.”
"As this round table builds trust that client's requests and birth wishes will be respected and heard, it in turn supports good clinical judgment decisions on transfer," says Rossman. "Our community midwives are 100 percent accountable for their transfer decisions and the hospital is 100 percent accountable for providing safe and effective receiving environment." “They see the respect offered to the patients and are often quicker to transfer when help is needed."
“Patients appreciate that we function as a united team when a patient arrives and we assume their care,” says Lockey.
Extending the benefits
Treating these transfer patients is prompting the Labor and Delivery unit to look at how it can make changes in maternity services at the hospital, including postpartum care, says Rossman.
“This population of patients challenges us as providers to practice in an evidence-based way,” Lockey adds. "They are often well-educated and in favor of alternative or more natural practices. Patients who were anticipating a home birth experience challenge the hospital team to consider if our practices really are best practices, and to explain the rationale behind what, when, and why we do what we do. Overall, I believe this moves us in a good direction for the safety of both mom and baby."
Lockey hopes that other hospitals will consider similar initiatives. “It’s a win overall for women to collaborate with this group,” she says. “I give kudos to UCHealth for leading in this area. It’s satisfying to be a part of something collaborative and cooperative that is creating a positive change in our city.”
Photos: above right: Dr. Renee Lockey, middle: Amber Rossman, below: the Memorial Hospital Central campus
OBHG began our partnership with CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi - South in 2014. Since then, we have developed a strong relationship with the staff and community physicians to raise the standard of care for pregnant women. Watch the video below to see what Mark Casanova, President of CHRISTUS Spohn - South, and Lenora Sevcik, Director of Women's Services, have to say about the benefits of the partnership.
In April, OBHG launched its sixth OB hospitalist program of 2018. Carolinas HealthCare System University in Charlotte, NC, features a full-time OB triage FT triage.
The hospitalist team includes (left to right): Addie Taylor; Director of Hospital Operations, Dr. Susan Wilson; Medical Director of Operations, Dr. Peter Boehling (backup), Dr. Arlene Persaud-Kraut, Dr. Cynthia Wesley and Dr. Alan Segal (backup). Not pictured: Dr. Lawrence Bass and Dr. Marion Reynolds. Dr. Persaud-Kraut will serve as Team Lead for the program.
Ob Hospitalist Group, the nation’s leading provider of OB/GYN hospitalist services, has announced the launch of its CARE program, a first-of-its-kind peer support initiative designed to support clinicians who are suffering from the psychological/emotional impact of an unexpected and adverse obstetrical event.
Obstetricians who are suffering vicarious trauma benefit from emotional first aid and peer-to-peer wraparound support.
Through the CARE (Clinician Assistance, Recovery & Encouragement) Program, trained peers support OBHG colleagues in an atmosphere of confidentiality, empathy, trust, and respect in the immediate aftermath of a negative patient care-related event.
It is believed to be the first large-scale obstetrics peer-support program in the country, available to more than 600 OBHG clinicians at over 120 hospitals in the U.S.
The CARE program is designed to address the well-documented concept of the “second victim.” A wide body of research has found that when healthcare providers are involved in an unanticipated patient event, a medical error and/or a patient-related injury, they often feel as though they have failed the patient, second guessing their clinical skills and knowledge base.
“Unanticipated medical outcomes can be devastating for both patients and physicians. Our research found nine in ten of our physicians did not feel adequately supported in coping with error-related stress, and eight in ten reported they would be interested in counseling after a serious error occurred,” said Leonard L. Castiglione, chief executive officer, Ob Hospitalist Group.
“We designed the CARE program based on a ‘first responder’ approach: to offer emotional first aid and peer-to-peer wraparound support to clinicians who are suffering vicarious trauma, to help them regain the emotional health and equilibrium necessary to provide skillful, empathetic care for patients.”
Last year, a woman I was caring for in labor & delivery almost died.
She was suffering from an embolism characterized by sudden cardiorespiratory collapse and acute hemorrhage. In the simplest terms, she nearly died from an allergic reaction to amniotic micro-substances in her bloodstream that can cause severe bleeding and inability to provide oxygen to the organs in her body.
Luckily, a collaborative team of health care workers immediately jumped in to save her life. Our team worked for hours to deliver her baby, stop the bleeding and stabilize her. To our great joy, she and her newborn survived.
OBHG Medical Director of Operations Dr. Rakhi Dimino discussed the current maternal mortality rate in Texas, along with the three steps state lawmakers, hospitals and physicians must take to address the issue in this op-ed published by the Houston Chronicle May 4, 2018.
Midwifery is an ancient profession and midwives today still help women through their pregnancy, labor, and delivery every day. Ob Hospitalist Group has nearly 40 midwives working in our hospitalist programs across the United States and the number is growing. May 5 marks International Day of the Midwife, a celebration of the important and dedicated work of midwives across the globe.
The International Confederation of Midwives established the idea of the International Day of the Midwife in the late 1980s and formally launched the initiative in 1992.
“Midwives leading the way with quality care is significant in highlighting the vital role that midwives play not only in ensuring women and their newborns navigate pregnancy and childbirth safely, but also receive respectful and well-resourced maternity care that can create a lifetime of good health and wellbeing beyond the childbirth continuum,” writes the International Confederation of Midwives.
Sallie Hill, CNM, works in the OBHG program at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, a bustling location in northern California. She talked with us about her journey to becoming a midwife and why the profession is beneficial to mothers, physicians, and hospitals.
First, the training
Hill became interested in midwifery following the difficult birth of her son, and her physician said he wished the hospital had midwives because she would have been a perfect candidate. “I thought, ‘They still have midwives?’ and decided that’s what I wanted to do,” said Hill.
She attended nursing school and later worked in labor & delivery nursing for several years before entering the midwifery program at University of California at San Francisco.
Hill began her career with the Indian Health Service, working at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. "It was a really wonderful place to work. We rarely had an obstetrician, so the midwives ran Obstetrics and Gynecology along with Primary Care. We learned skills like ultrasound, colposcopy, and vacuum-assisted delivery because we were so remote,” said Hill.
Next came solo practice in South Dakota followed by a practice in Boulder, Colorado. When she returned to California, Hill worked at a free-standing birth center and later joined what became the Alta Bates Summit Perinatal Center. She’s worked there for 15 years. The pace was ultra-fast in the beginning, said Hill, “When I initially started, we did 7,000 to 8,000 births a year, sometimes 10 births in an hour, but now it is about 4,000 per year. It’s busy, but very rewarding.”
‘Birth is normal, but they’re all different’
Using midwives on labor & delivery reaps multiple benefits. When Hill is on shift at Alta Bates, a midwife and two physicians are on the L&D unit. She oversees the entire birth (and the rare repair) on her own and only calls for physician consultation or backup if something goes wrong or she is out of her comfort zone, said Hill.
A benefit for the mother is that midwives are trained to treat birth as normal while still keeping an eye out for something that deviates from normal so if there is an emergency, they can react and take care of it, said Hill. “We can be with the mother as much as possible and provide reassurance for them,” she added.
Hill recounts a story of when she had a backup physician covering for her and the physician said when confronted with a situation with one of Hill’s patients, she thought about what Sallie would do. “And I just sat on my hands,” reported the physician.
Working on an OB hospitalist team versus solo practice offers a different perspective, said Hill. “You’re more focused on working with a team and you’re more dependent on your colleagues for a team approach to everybody’s care. This is because you don’t know the background of the women you’re caring for as well as you would in full-scope clinical practice. It’s nice to have that camaraderie and team support,” she said.
Sallie Hill shared some of the lessons learned in her decades of practice. Establishing a rapport or common ground when the patient first arrives is paramount, she said. “I’ve learned to listen and get patients to tell me their story. By doing that and listening to the women, it’s easier to establish a connection. I want to get that story first,” she said.
“I’ve also learned that it’s really important that you not insert your ego or your expectations into somebody else’s labor and birth experience. That can be a hard lesson to learn for some people. You have to learn as a midwife to be able to not have your expectations forefront,” she added.
And when the birth is not going the way the patient expected, a midwife must be a support and guide. “You may have to respectfully tell them that an intervention is needed. We have to really learn to listen and discuss rather than dictating how something will be done,” she said.
“Some women want complete control and you can control nothing about labor. You may have to work around that [expectation] and keep the safety of the mom and baby at the forefront,” said Hill.
What’s on the horizon
Obstetrics trends evolve and Hill said one distressing trend is hospitals closing their labor & delivery units, so women in rural areas may have to travel hours to a hospital that offers Labor & Delivery.
This trend could drive up the number of midwives. “I think midwives are going to be even more prevalent, not only in hospital settings, but in rural clinics and even in city clinics as we run into a shortage of doctors. There is going to be more of the type of practice where consultations are done by phone or video because a physician is 100 miles away,” she said.
The pendulum in Obstetrics swings back and forth, said Hill, but the process of pregnancy and labor hasn’t changed for thousands of years. “I hope to see more midwives in practice and an examination of what interventions are really needed,” she added.
An optimal model
Midwives and obstetricians working together is beneficial for all, said Hill. “I think the collegial and collaborative midwife/obstetrician approach is really best. I think that midwives and obstetricians can learn quite a bit from each other.”
“It’s very important that an open dialogue is maintained between those positions and that’s what’s going to benefit women and their families. There are so many strengths that both professions have. I need to be able to learn from the obstetricians, but they also need to be able to learn from me,” she added.
When residents are paired with midwives during rotations, this is an excellent model and helpful for both parties, she added. “It gives exposure to midwives and normal birth, which may not happen for an obstetrician in training,” said Hill.
Sallie Hill said working as a midwife in a hospitalist program truly suits her. “It’s always challenging, it’s always interesting, and then you get to go home. What’s nice about being a hospitalist is that you get a wide variety of clinical situations, but you don’t have to take those home with you.”
Earlier this year, we talked with Annette Stier, director of women's & children's services at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA, one of OBHG's longest-running partners. Providence St. Peter started their OBHG hospitalist program in 2010, and Annette has been there since the beginning. Hear what she has to say about the benefits a hospital gleans from an OBHG partnership versus developing their own OB hospitalist program.
On April 29, 2018, The Norman Transcript published an interview with Norman Regional Health System CEO Richie Splitt. The Norman, OK-based hospital system has launched several new initiatives recently, one of which being its development of an Ob Hospitalist Group obstetrics emergency department at the Norman Regional HealthPlex.
This past week, healthcare professionals from around the country flocked to Austin, TX for The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Annual Meeting. During the meeting, which ran from April 27-30, ACOG aired daily TV segments that played on a closed circuit network throughout the conference hall and surrounding locations. OBHG's Senior Director of Medical Operations Dr. Charlie Jaynes was featured on one of these segments, and he had the opportunity to speak about some issues and initiatives that are high priority for both him as a physician and OBHG as an organization.
Hear what Dr. Jaynes has to say about the "second victim" phenomenon and OBHG's new CARE program below.
We've expanded our national network! On April 4, 2018, OBHG launched a Type A obstetrics emergency department within Baylor Scott & White McKinney in McKinney, TX. This is the fifth OBHG partnership to begin in 2018.
The hospitalist team at Baylor Scott & White McKinney includes (left to right): Dr. Timothy Sandmann, Dr. Edileola Makinde, Dr. Marc Zepeda, Dr. Jeffrey Hermann, Dr. Lenora Vaughn. Backups: Dr. Bob Darrow, Dr. Ezell Autrey (not pictured) and Dr. Tova Burge-Martin (not pictured). Dr. Sandmann will serve as Team Lead for the program.
About one in three babies is delivered via C-section in the U.S. It's the most common surgery in the nation.
While much has been written about the need to reduce or eliminate unnecessary cesarean sections, many are unavoidable - but can also leave a mother feeling that she missed a crucial part of the experience.
Moms who deliver through C-section can struggle with feelings of disappointment, or even guilt. But obstetricans have devised new ways to allow for maternal bonding during the procedure.
"Birth comes in two forms and both lead to motherhood," says Dr. Alissa Erogbogbo.
Erogbogbo, OBHG medical director of operations for northern and central California, says advances in the understanding of the capabilities during a C-section have developed into what's now known as the 'family-centered cesarean', which allows for more active involvement of the mother in the birth of her baby.
"A family-centered C-section can entail any of the following: skin-to-skin contact, continual presence of a support person, breastfeeding in the OR, dimmed lights, calming music, unstrapped arms, and lowered sheets," she says.
A mother can opt to stay alert and watch the birth process happening, and have the infant placed on her chest to help stimulate breastfeeding. If her hands are not strapped down (and the IV inserted in her non-dominant hand), she will able to immediately hold her newborn and keep her baby close.
Initial research has shown that the new method is as safe as the traditional procedure, and also results in better breastfeeding and bonding outcomes and significantly increased satisfaction for the mother and family members.
While this gentler, more personalized cesarean method is less common in this country than the UK where it began, Erogbogbo is not surprised it is catching on in the U.S.
"It changes the birth experience," she says. "It allows the mother to embrace her delivery."
April is Cesarean Awareness Month, which helps remind caregivers and patients of the need to know and understand the facts about C-sections.
Aiysha and Charles Toliver welcomed their second child Zaccai in 2017. Thanks to the partnership between CHRISTUS Spohn-South and Ob Hospitalist Group, both mother and baby are happy and healthy!
View video below.
Ob Hospitalist Group invites all OB/GYNs, Certified Nurse Midwives and OB residents to be our guests at our special Meet & Greet Reception in dynamic Austin, Texas.
Come and enjoy libations, heavy hors d’oeuvres and an incredible open air view of the city on the 7th floor terrace of the elegant new Fairmont Austin hotel as you get to know some of our executives and mingle with our expert clinical recruiters.
When you arrive, be sure to register for our drawing for a new Series 3 Apple watch!
OBHG Meet & Greet Reception
Saturday, April 28th
5:30 - 8:00 pm
Fairmont Austin Hotel
Rules and Regs terrace, 7th floor
The BMMA launched the effort to increase public attention around the state of Black maternal health in the U.S., along with the root causes of poor maternal health outcomes, and community-based policies, programs, and solutions.
The week-long campaign seeks to amplify the voices of Black mothers, women, families, and stakeholders, serve as a national platform for Black women-led entities and efforts on maternal health, birth justice, and reproductive justice.
The Alliance offers a social media/online advocacy toolkit for download. A free webinar is scheduled for Monday, April 16 highlighting the challenges Black, African immigrant and undocumented women face in accessing equitable maternity care.
A tweet chat will take place Tuesday, April 17th at 3 pm Eastern time. Official Hashtags include #BlackMaternalHealthWeek, #BMHW18, and #BlackMamasMatter #IntlMHDay.
April is also recognized as National Minority Health Month – which seeks to advance health equity for all racial and ethnic minorities.
New OBHG hospital partner St. Luke's First Baptist Hospital in San Antonio, TX, was featured on a recent local media story. OB/GYN hospitalist Dr. Randall Davis, and St. Luke's Director of Women's Services Terrie Price, explained how the new 24-7 obstetric emergency department works, and how it will benefit moms, babies, families and local obstetricians in the community.
The hospital is the first in San Antonio to offer an OB hospitalist program.
According to Dr. Simon, a lot of obstetricians get fed up with the bureaucracy inherent in the healthcare system, as well as the various pressures the job.
OBHG is excited to announce our third program go-live of 2018 at Our Lady of Lourdes in Binghamton, NY. Our Lady of Lourdes, part of the Ascension Health system, has a full-time OBHG triage.
The hospitalist team at Our Lady of Lourdes includes: (from left to right) Dr. Tanya Mays, Dr. Scott Treutlein, Dr. Mark Spence, Dr. Paul Burke, Dr. Raymond DeCesare and Dr. Florence Jean Louis. In front: Dr. Angel Kearney and Dr. Deborah Basso. Dr. Fred Nichols and Dr. Anita Sargent (not pictured) will serve as back-ups at this program. Dr. Mays will serve as Team Lead for the program.
Ob Hospitalist Group Medical Director of Business Development Dr. Jane van Dis was one of the prominent national experts quoted in a recent U.S. News and World Report article.
The piece, geared toward aspiring medical students, discusses what up-and-coming OB/GYNs should look for when they choose a medical school.
Each quarter, our OBHG colleagues commend their peers for going above and beyond with the 'You Delivered!' peer-to-peer recognition program. Winners are named each quarter, shared within the OBHG community, and receive a personalized, engraved trophy. All nominees receive a unique lapel pin.
Dr. Troy Eckman and Leslie Cianfarano were named winners of the 'You Delivered!' award for the fourth quarter of 2017.
By the Patient’s Side All the Way
Dr. Troy Eckman was nominated by Bellevue Woman’s Center Team Lead Dr. Dympna Weil for going the extra mile—literally. Because their facility is the OB center for Ellis Hospital System, sometimes her team must address clinical needs at the main hospital emergency room about one mile away, said Dr. Weil.
A patient came into the local emergency room and was determined to need treatment by an OB hospitalist, but could not be transferred. A community physician quickly assessed the patient in the ER, but had another patient under anesthesia for surgery and could not immediately treat her. Recognizing the dire situation, a nurse contacted Dr. Eckman at home.
“When he learned of the acuity and urgent nature of the patient's needs, Dr. Eckman hopped in his truck and drove directly over the main hospital's ER where he assessed the patient and arranged for her transfer to our local tertiary care center. As if that was not enough, he rode in the ambulance with this high-risk patient all the way to the medical center—and then arrived to begin his normally scheduled OBHG shift at noon,” wrote Dr. Weil.
Leslie Cianfarano, Business Systems Analyst, was nominated by colleagues Erin Cook, Elaine Stephenson, and Jessie Simpson. Leslie was recognized for her willingness to assist during a transition from Human Resources to Business Systems, performing “multiple jobs within multiple departments, bridging gaps, and keeping things moving forward—all with a smile on her face,” read one nomination.
“She brought multiple teams together, working towards the one goal of system cleanup, streamlining processes, and identifying system errors. In addition, she is always willing to share her knowledge, train people on the system…” read another.
“She has been instrumental in assisting our team in transitioning the compensation analyst responsibilities and has made herself available to answer questions, solve complex compensation issues, provide job aides, document processes, assist with resources and recommendations, all while learning and working her new full-time position in IT…,” read a third.
Congratulations to our 'You Delivered!' winners!
On National Doctor’s Day 2018, Ob Hospitalist Group recognizes the crucial, life changing work our hospitalists do each and every day.
Founded by an obstetrician who envisioned a better, safer way to deliver emergency OB care and offer clinicians a more balanced personal lifestyle, Ob Hospitalist Group provides unparalleled support for our employed physicians, along with benefits for the private OB/GYNs who practice near or have admitting privileges at our 130 partner hospitals across the nation.
We are humbled and eternally grateful for your compassion, your unwavering dedication, and your incredible clinical skills.
OBHG honors you for every vulnerable mother cared for, every baby brought into the world, every new family created, and every life saved.
Ob Hospitalist Group is pleased to announce our second new partnership of 2018, MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA. Orange Coast's OB hospitalist program launched on March 7, and it features full-time triage.
"We are affectionately calling this program the team of team leads," said Director of Hospital Operations Kristina Mangia. "We have an amazing team of OBHG leaders assembled to staff Orange Coast with three of the team members being former or current team leads. Two great providers new to OBHG are a part of the Orange Coast team as well. The hospital has been a dream to work with, and we are excited to see this program grow into an OBED."
The hospitalist team at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center includes in the front row from left to right: Steve Schaerrer; RVPO, Dr. Stephen Walker, Dr. Carol Levi, Dr. Michelle Uaje, Dr. Shawanda Obey, Dr. Donald Toatley; MSO, Dr. Jesus Baldonado and Kristina Mangia; DHO. In the back row from left to right Dr. James Barber and Dr. Mark Harrison. Dr. James Barber will serve as team lead for the program.
Admidst the national opioid epidemic, OBHG hospitalists are taking measures to ensure they are not feeding addiction among postpartum patients. Dr. Stephen T. Bashuk, OBHG Medical Director of Operations, suggests three approaches physicians, department heads, and hospital administrators can take when addressing this issue.
Bashuk says they should strive to:
- Wear many hats, including as pediatrician and administrator stand-in.
- Never assume physician instruction is taken as the final word.
- Be wise to greater tolerance.
When it comes to her specialty, Dr. Lydia Sims has pretty much done it all.
Fresh out of residency, she developed a much-needed prenatal program – which is still in operation today – at a public health clinic in San Antonio. She worked as a contract OB/GYN for the U.S. military, joined private group practices in Kentucky and Louisiana, and was employed by a large healthcare corporation. She also founded a successful solo practice which she operated for 13 years.
Dr. Sims notes that the industry has gone through a lot of changes in the past decade, and that many OBs are faced with numerous, draining tasks that can take precious time and energy away from patient care.
“In private practice you’re doing more than just providing medical care to your patient, because you’re so busy with who’s working today, who’s going to show up tomorrow, co-pays, insurance companies, filling out piles of forms, and government requirements,” she says. “It was taking the fun out of medicine.”
Photo: Dr. Lydia Sims (bottom right) with her husband, a hand surgeon, and their two children.
What a difference a few decades makes. As recently as the 1940s, children born with Down syndrome were expected to live only to age 12. By the 1980s, life expectancy was about 25 years. Today, the average person with Down syndrome lives to be 60. Last year, Guinness World Records listed Kenny Cridge of England as the world’s oldest living person with Down syndrome.
Society, too, is catching up. Where attitudes once were often hurtful and based on ignorance, they now are increasingly accepting and knowledgeable. Where once babies diagnosed with Down syndrome were sent off to institutions, today they are mainstreamed in public school classrooms. And today, large retailers are embracing Down children in their advertising.
Walgreens drug store, for example, launched an Easter promotion last year featuring the angelic face of seven-year-old Grace Driscoll, a kindergartner from Chicago with Down syndrome. Grace appeared on signage in more than 8,000 Walgreens stores nationwide. It is one of the first times Walgreens has featured a model with a cognitive disability in its advertising. “We wanted this marketing campaign to be inclusive,” a Walgreens spokesman said. Walgreens joins a growing number of national brands including individuals with disabilities in their catalogs and advertisements.
Trisomy occurs when a baby develops with an extra chromosome in some or all of his or her cells. It is the result of cells not dividing properly, and the chromosomes don’t separate in pairs as they normally do, giving the baby an extra or third copy of a particular chromosome. Many trisomies result in miscarriage rather than live birth, and any chromosome can be affected. The most common live-birth trisomies involve chromosomes 18 and 21.
Trisomy 18 — also known as Edwards syndrome — occurs in about one in 2,500 pregnancies. Only half of these babies are born alive, and few will survive more than a few days. About 10% survive to their first birthday. There is no cure other than medical care to provide the best quality of life possible. Having a child with Edwards syndrome is devastating for parents and can be overwhelming. It is critical that these parents obtain support from organizations such as the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society and the Trisomy 18 Foundation.
Trisomy 21 — also known as Down syndrome — is the most common and well-known form of trisomy. Occurring in about one out of 800 births, Down syndrome is characterized by intellectual delays and physical abnormalities that include a smaller head, a somewhat flattened nose, poor muscle tone, and slanted eyes. Down syndrome children have an average IQ of 50, compared with the average IQ of 100 in normal children.
Earlier this month, Dr. Jane van Dis, OBHG hospitalist and medical director of business development, was quoted in a Reader's Digest story, 15 Signs Your Weight Gain Means Your Health is in Trouble. Dr. van Dis shares her insight into three of the signs that weight gain could be a bigger issue: irregular periods, painful periods, and abdominal pain.
Ob Hospitalist Group will be attending the following meetings or conferences in the near future:
January 13-16; Bonita Springs, FL
January 31 - February 2; Dallas, Texas
Michigan Section of ACOG
February 2-4; Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville, MI
February 23-24; Anaheim, CA
March 5; Lansing Center, MI
April 12-15; Indianapolis, IN
March 11-17 is National Patient Safety Awareness Week 2018. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is the primary sponsor of the annual observance through its United for Patient Safety Campaign.
IHI is asking both clinicians and consumers to focus on patient safety as a serious public health issue.
As an industry leader in patient safety and quality improvement, Ob Hospitalist Group requires all clinicians to regularly maintain their proficiency in the latest OB/GYN patient safety issues via continuing education, and all new clinical employees are required to complete several online courses (or bundles) in electronic fetal monitoring and perinatal safety before they begin their first shift in a partner hospital.
In addition, the OBHG SAFE program identifies areas for potential quality improvement and provides our clinicians and partners with access to a variety of best practices and educational offerings.
During Patient Safety Awareness Week this year, IHI encourages interested people to share their organization's plans or initiatives, honor those who have suffered due to medical errors, participate in an open Twitter chat scheduled for Friday from 12-1 pm EST (use #PSAW18 to join the conversation), and take the pledge to stand united in striving to reduce harm in patient care.
At OBHG, a passion for people and commitment to patient safety and quality improvement are part of our culture. For safety programs anywhere to succeed, it is imperative that healthcare organizations similarly establish their own safety cultures, regularly utilize bundles, toolkits, and best practices, and consistently demonstrate unwavering dedication to their patients every day.
Millions of women around the world suffer from endometriosis — a condition in which uterine tissue migrates and grows abnormally outside of the uterus. Some women have no symptoms, while others experience severe pain, especially during their menstrual period.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates that about one in 10 reproductive-age women suffers from endometriosis.
Endometriosis occurs when displaced endometrial tissue, behaving just as the lining of the uterus ordinarily would every month, thickens and sloughs during menstruation. When the menstrual blood from endometrial tissue has no place else to go, it is released into the surrounding tissues, causing inflammation and in some cases forming cysts (called endometriomas), scar tissue, or adhesions.
Occasionally, endometriosis can be found on organs or even old surgical scar tissue outside the pelvic cavity; these growths are called endometrial implants. While the majority are benign, they have been associated with an increased risk for developing cancer.
Chronic pelvic pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis, but some women have no symptoms, and others may suffer excessive bleeding or pain during sex or when using the bathroom. Most women are first diagnosed with endometriosis while seeking care for infertility.
Almost 40% of women with infertility have endometriosis. That’s because the internal scarring or adhesions from endometriosis may interfere with the release of eggs from the ovaries or block progress of the sperm. The associated inflammation also creates an environment inconsistent with fertilization.
Regardless, many women with mild to moderate forms of endometriosis can conceive normally and have healthy, term pregnancies. Because the condition can worsen over time, however, women with endometriosis who are certain they want to have a baby might consider conceiving sooner rather than later.
Diagnosing endometriosis is a process that usually begins with a pelvic examination. If endometriosis is suspected, the only way to absolutely confirm it is through laparoscopy, usually an outpatient procedure in which the physician inserts a long, slender scope with a tiny camera through a small incision to view internal tissues up close.
Treatment for confirmed endometriosis can be prescription of medications such as anti-inflammatory pain relievers or hormones delivered via contraceptive pills, which can inhibit endometrial tissue growth. In more serious cases, surgery is considered, but usually as a last resort. Surgery can physically remove endometrial tissue and improve fertility. Unfortunately, endometriosis often returns within two years of surgery. In the most severe cases, some women and their physicians choose total hysterectomy as well as the removal of both ovaries because estrogen from the ovaries can stimulate any remaining endometriosis.
Recent studies have identified a number of adverse pregnancy complications that are associated with endometriosis, and researchers encourage healthcare providers to be alert for potential risks among expectant women with a history of endometriosis. Their investigations found serious complications such as spontaneous rupture of the uterus, postpartum hemorrhage, and obstructed labor (dystocia) among these patients. Some patients had ruptured endometriotic cysts and ruptured ectopic pregnancies, though these occurrences were rare.
A related study identified poorer pregnancy outcomes among women diagnosed with endometriosis. These patients had a higher risk for miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, placenta displacement, peripartum hemorrhage, and preterm birth.
Another study published in February 2017 showed that women with endometriosis: “had a statistically significant increased risk for having preeclampsia (1.4 fold), severe preeclampsia (1.7 fold), hemorrhage in pregnancy (2.3-fold), placental abruption (2.0-fold), placenta previa (3.9-fold), premature rupture of membranes (1.7-fold), retained placenta (3.1-fold), and hemorrhage after 22 gestational weeks (2.3-fold). Analyses of neonatal complications showed significantly increased risks of preterm birth before 28 weeks (3.1-fold) and before 34 weeks (2.7-fold), being small for gestational age (1.5-fold), a low Apgar score (1.4-fold), a diagnosis of a malformation within the first year (1.3-fold), and neonatal death (1.8-fold) for infants born to women with endometriosis.”
The exact cause of endometriosis is not known. However, women carry a greater risk if they:
• have never given birth;
• started their period at an early age;
• went through menopause later than average;
• have short menstrual cycles (less than 27 days);
• have high estrogen levels;
• drink alcohol;
• have a low body mass index; or
• have close family members with endometriosis.
March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month (with March 3-9 designated Endometriosis Awareness Week). While there is no cure for endometriosis, with appropriate care, its sufferers are able to mitigate symptoms and live quality lives. Many can have healthy pregnancies.
From ReachMD with host Renée Simone Yolanda Allen, MD, MHSc., FACOG
Obstetrical emergency care units offer pregnant women highly-specialized emergency care as a better alternative to the traditional emergency room visit. These units have been proven to increase patient satisfaction and improve emergency room wait time lengths. Where are they being utilized, and what are the barriers to implementing them nationwide?
Host Renée Allen talks with guests Dr. Brian Gilpin, national clinical director of operations for OB hospitalists at Mednax National Medical Group, and OBHG Founder Dr. Christopher Swain. They discuss the benefits and challenges of obstetrical emergency care units.
Many OBHG clinicians volunteer in leadership roles within their program hospitals, communities, or professional organizations. In the Leadership in Action series, our hospitalists share how they choose to serve others.
Dr. Deborah Bowers, team lead for one of our programs in Reston, Va., says that serving on hospital committees not only helps her connect with fellow physicians and hospital staff, but also allows her to help affect change in the facility.
Currently she is part of a group working to improve policy adherence within her hospital's health system. One location was scoring lower than others regarding compliance with system-wide Pitocin policies. (Pitocin is a prescription drug that can help induce labor.) Bowers volunteered with a collaborative group of 10 nurses, administrators, and physicians to address the issue through a performance improvement initiative. After six months serving with the group, she says the effort is making steady progress.
Bowers also recently joined a perinatal interdisciplinary committee that is examining the chorioamnionitis infection rate at the hospital. "We are pulling the NICU admissions to determine our chorioamnionitis rate and conduct an actual study," she says. The group hopes the study data will identify a trend and help them develop a plan to reduce the infection rate.
In addition, she is part of a committee developing a process to move the hospital's NICU from a 28-week Level III to a 26-week Level III.
'I think it's the right thing to do'
When asked why she participates, Bowers says, "I think it's the right thing to do. It's also a way to have a solid collegial relationship with the staff and private physicians in the community."
Serving is just part of her nature, says Bowers. "Before I wanted to be a hospitalist, I was always on one committee or another. For me it was not a big change to go back to that," she says. "It's nice to do some of the things that you would traditionally do as a department member that you don't always do as a hospitalist. It makes you feel like you are integral to the department."
Multiple benefits for clinician and community
Participating in a leadership role can increase the visibility of hospitalists and provide additional opportunities to work with the community doctors, says Bowers. "Part [of serving] is being well-known in the department and the community here. You are showing that you are committed...that you are there to see that things get better and to make a change."
Bowers says hospital leadership fully supports OBHG clinicians who want to join committees and get involved in quality improvement initiatives. "They're really happy to have you participate and show a vested interest in how the program is going to work out. It's a satisfier for the hospital and for me in that I have a stronger relationship with the nursing staff, administration, and private doctors," she says. "It's a collegial way to make a difference."
Every day, OBHG's clinical and operational leadership teams support our hospitalists in their programs. The Medical Director of Operations, Regional Vice President of Operations, and Director of Hospital Operations work to help ensure that programs run smoothly and facilitate hospitalists' success. One leader of these leaders is Kristen Fuentealba, Director of Hospital Operations over Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
The Director of Hospital Operations (DHO) works collaboratively with OBHG Medical Directors of Operations to oversee the operational management and oversight of OBHG's hospitalist programs. Our DHOs visit program locations and focus on establishing professional relationships with the hospitalist team, hospital C-suite executives, and other hospital department personnel. A DHO also develops relationships with community providers and specialty physicians. The Director of Hospital Operations reports to the Regional Vice President of Operations.
How long have you worked with OBHG and how have you seen the organization evolve?
I've been with OBHG a little over three years. I came from EmCare, an emergency medicine company, in a similar role in program implementation and management in the rural health division. When I came to OBHG three years ago, it was a small business that was growing in leaps and bounds. Since then it has grown tremendously: with the addition of a new CEO, CFO, and COO - the company has almost doubled since I came on board.
What lessons has working in your current field taught you?
Working in operations and with many facets of the industry, I've learned to be patient and flexible. Also, to be very goal-oriented and have structure in my day, week, and year-keeping certain goals in mind.
What is the most important way that you think you can support our clinicians on the ground?
They're the heart of the company and on the front lines. We're nothing if we don't have good physicians out there doing the actual work. I really value them and try to build a personal relationship with our clinicians, our MDOs, and Team Leads. Then to be accessible to them at all times; whether it's help with the schedule or another issue. I want our Team Leads, MDOs, and clinician teams to feel like they can pick up the phone and call me anytime. And if I can't help them, I can connect them with someone who can help.
As operators, we've been encouraged to have more involvement with the teams and Team Leads. I feel like we're becoming more of the main point of contact for them and that's a good thing because we not only represent OBHG, but we also work closely on the hospital side with administration, management, nurses-from program implementation all the way through managing. I can assist with day-to-day issues and management strategies or help work out a problem involving recruiting or contract negotiations.
What do you see on the horizon for our hospital partners as goals for the hospitalist program?
I think that hospitalists in general are becoming an important part of primary care. We're the leading company in the OB Hospitalist industry and in the forefront of OB care. Our hospitals are coming to us to help them solve the problems that are national: shortage of OBs in the area, immediate care for mothers and babies, and saving the lives of moms and babies.
It's amazing to hear the stories about how our clinicians make an impact on patients who show up because patients are immediately seen by a Board-Certified OB/GYN. I feel like we're just scratching the surface in specializing in OB Hospitalist care; branching out into different programs like federally qualified health clinics and supporting Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists.
How have you seen our clinicians address evolving needs?
Our physicians are really good at assessing the hospital's needs and customizing our programs accordingly. Our Medical Directors are excellent at this and leading our Team Leads in doing this. They are leaders with a can-do attitude. I think we're really good at meeting hospital needs.
What do you love the most about what you do?
I love the big picture. I love that we are elevating the standard of women's [and babies'] healthcare. As the mom of two girls, it makes me feel secure that we have a program in my hometown. I'm thankful to be a part of an organization that has such a wonderful mission statement.
In day-to-day activity, I love to problem-solve with other people to help reach our company goals, have good outcomes for our programs, and help the hospitals reach their goals for their OB department.
What is a challenge for you in your work?
What is a challenge is also what I love about the job: working with many different people and a variety of departments. Because I work with so many different people and different departments, it's sometimes like spinning plates. That's the challenge: keeping the plates spinning.
Tell us about your background and family.
I was born in Pensacola, Florida, and live in a bedroom community where I went to school from kindergarten to high school. We have two daughters, Adriana and Antonia, and have been married to Marco for 24 years. One daughter is a sophomore in college and the other a senior in high school. I'm the oldest of eight kids. I love raising my kids in the community that I grew up in and we're close to the beach, so that doesn't hurt, either.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy fitness and am a former spin and aerobics instructor. I love to run, too, and have run several half-marathons.
What would be your second career?
I love the outdoors and I like planting and gardening, so I'd probably be a landscaper.
What is something that people might not know about you?
I lived in Hawaii for a short time.
Every day, Ob Hospitalist Group's clinical and operational leadership teams support our clinicians in their programs. The medical director of operations, regional vice president of operations, and director of hospital operations work to help ensure that programs run smoothly and facilitate hospitalists' success. Dr. Charles Rollison is an MDO for the OBHG region that includes Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
He focuses on clinical operations, including clinical leadership, hospital relationships, new program starts, clinical strategic leadership, and business development support. Our MDOs help ensure the clinical teams are delivering quality programs that achieve both OBHG's and the hospital's clinical and operational objectives.
How long have you worked with OBHG and how have you seen the organization evolve?
I joined OBHG in September 2013 as a hospitalist after 15 years in a general OB/GYN practice, and was selected for the MDO position after being with the company for six months. I've witnessed expansive growth in the number of physicians, programs and support staff in the time I've been with OBHG.
What lessons has working in your current field taught you?
I'm always reminded that the most important things in this, and any role, are transparency, honesty, and clear communication.
What do you see on the horizon in the field of OB/GYN or hospitalist medicine?
I believe there will continue to be a rapid expansion of OB hospitalist programs across the nation, much as there was for internal medicine hospitalists not all that long ago.
What are the important ways that you think you can support our clinicians on the ground?
We select quality physicians for our teams, and give them a fair amount of autonomy to run the programs. They're the best individuals to tell us what will and won't work at their hospitals.
I think it's important to be accessible, a good listener, and to respond promptly when help is needed. Specifically, I can help clinicians address relationships, either with their team or community physicians. I can also help with professional development and offer guidance when hospitalists want to advance within the company.
How we manage the team, address issues, and demonstrate that we want to provide people feedback speaks a lot to the longevity of the programs and the longevity of the clinicians themselves.
What do you love the most about what you do?
I really enjoy building new relationships with our physicians and team leads. It's very rewarding to watch them become better leaders and better hospitalists. I also really enjoy new programs and start-ups where we build and implement a program from start to finish. It's very rewarding to watch it all come together as we pick the team, build the program, suit it to the hospital, and launch on the first day.
Tell us about your background and your family.
I grew up in Pontiac, Michigan. I went to medical school and completed my residency at Michigan State University. After graduation I spent three years active duty as a staff OB/GYN at Naval Hospital Cherry Point, North Carolina. After leaving the Navy, I practiced general OB/GYN in Indiana and Michigan for 15 years. I also completed a master's degree in Health Administration in 2014. My wife, June, is a maternal-fetal medicine physician. I have a son, Noah, who is 16 and daughter, Lauren, who is 13.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
We have a cabin in northern Michigan, and spend as much free time as we can there year round. We enjoy being on the water, whether boating, skiing, or fishing. In the winter months we do a lot of snowmobiling as Michigan has almost 6,0000 miles of groomed trails and we can ride right from our door. Travel is also a family favorite; our next destination is Paris.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I've always wanted to be a physician. That's all I ever wanted to do.
What is something that people might not know about you?
I was a state champion baseball player my senior year in high school. No one would look at me now and think that!
According to OBHG's Dr. Jane van Dis, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) attempts can reduce medically unnecessary C-sections. This week, Contemporary OB/GYN published an article by Dr. van Dis, who serves as OBHG's Medical Director for Business Development and an OB hopsitalist in Bakersfield, CA.
"The VBAC attempt rate is only about 9%, even though the overall success rate for women who attempt a trial of labor after cesarean delivery is estimated at 60% to 80%. We can do better," she writes.
For most people, the very notion of having heart surgery performed on their newborn is terrifying. In fact, a study published recently in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) found that parents whose children have undergone cardiac surgery had an elevated risk for trauma, depression, and psychological distress. Even though outcomes from infant heart surgery have improved over the past decades, the prospect nonetheless induces anxiety.
According to the JAHA review, approximately 30% of parents exhibited symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). More than 80% had clinical symptoms of trauma and emotional distress, and up to 50% experienced depression or anxiety. The study’s authors suggested that parents of infants with congenital heart defects requiring surgery could benefit from referral to mental health resources and emotional support systems.
An estimated 40,000 babies are diagnosed with congenital heart defects (CHDs) every year, with about 1 in 4 (25%) being serious. These defects involve structural problems in the heart that are present at birth. CHDs are the most common form of birth defect. They can range from simple defects that require only monitoring to life-threatening conditions necessitating open-heart surgery. The good news is that, with advances in medicine, the vast majority of children born with complex heart defects survive to adulthood and enjoy normal, active lives.
Every newborn in the United States is tested for heart defects within the first 24 hours of life. The screening — called pulse oximetry — is painless and involves placing a sensor on the baby’s skin, usually the foot. The sensor measures oxygen levels in the baby’s blood and can detect problems early. There are at least 18 specifically identified types of CHDs. Most have no known cause and are presumed to be genetic. Those infants diagnosed with serious CHDs are referred to a pediatric cardiologist for further treatment and/or surgery.
February is Congenital Heart Defects Awareness (CHDA) Month, with February 7-14 observed as CHDA Week. In 2014, the American Heart Association and The Children’s Heart Foundation teamed up to launch the Little Hats, Big Hearts™ program in which volunteers around the country knit tiny red hats for babies born in February and distribute them to participating hospitals in more than 40 states. The program continues to grow today, encouraging mothers and children across the nation to live heart-healthy lives.
Ob Hospitalist Group is pleased to announce that we are entering into the Connecticut market! We are excited to be partnering with a facility in Waterbury to develop a brand new hospitalist program.
The hospital is an acute care and surgical facility that handles more than 1,000 deliveries each year. It is home to a level III neonatal intensive care unit, 25 labor and delivery beds, and maternal-fetal medicine for high-risk pregnancies.
As for the local area, Waterbury is the ninth-largest city in New England and part of the Central Naugatuck Valley Region. It's an easily commutable distance from several cities in New York such as Poughkeepsie and Yonkers.
The town boasts the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, several museums and theaters, two amusement parks, an artisan marketplace and a charming downtown. Residents also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as golf, hiking, biking and running at Mattatuck State Forest or one of Waterbury's many parks.
Leadership and advancement opportunities are available - along with predictable schedules, fewer shifts, and minimal administrative burdens.
If you are interested in exploring our new Connecticut openings or would like to apply, please contact our Senior Clinical Recruiter Liz Selfridge for more information.
Today, hospitals face more issues and challenges than ever before. Certification and scope of practice are key issues. But even greater is the skyrocketing costs of healthcare. The more the industry tries to rein in costs and streamline care, the bigger role hospitalists play. Hospitalists address a wide range of issues from efficiency of care, pay-for-performance measures and increasing patient capacity, to quality incentives and quality improvement in patient safety and care.
There’s a general consensus that hospital medicine is in an excellent position to make a difference. As the industry’s leading provider of 24/7 in-house OB/GYN hospitalist programs, Ob Hospitalist Group partners with over 130 hospitals across the nation. They see the program as an investment in their women’s healthcare line and the cornerstone of their patient safety and business development efforts.
Our vast experience has taught us that while each hospital is unique, many hospitals share the following objectives:
- Improve patient safety and satisfaction through the immediate availability of specialists in the management of high-risk obstetric encounters and emergencies.
- Prevent the loss of physicians and delivery volume (knowing that a loss of obstetric volume will most likely be associated with a loss in elective surgery volume).
- Retain transports (which increase patient satisfaction and revenue).
- Increase market share by reaching out to physicians who are splitting deliveries with their competition or who are exclusive with their competition.
- Increase market share by reaching out to family practitioners, mid-level providers and clinics.
- Grow their high-risk service and become known as the leader in obstetrics for their market.
- Foster the relationship with obstetric patients so that they choose the hospital for their other healthcare needs (and those of their families).
Many of these hospitals considered an in-house solution or attempted to implement their own program before asking us to develop a program for them. Some of the challenges they faced are as follows:
- Availability of physicians/timeliness of implementation: Recruiting and vetting physicians can be challenging, and many hospitals or local companies simply do not have the ability to recruit, train and retain top-quality physicians throughout the life of the program. Hospital-developed programs falter when they are unable to backfill positions when physicians move on. OBHG can guarantee physician availability throughout the life of the program due to our large network from which we use to place physicians.
- Private physician partnerships: A hospitalist program will not be successful if local physicians do not support it. Hospital-developed programs faltered because the local physicians did not trust the physicians that were brought on board (either due to competitive considerations or concerns about their clinical expertise). OBHG enjoys a reputation for providing highly-skilled, board- certified physicians to whom private physicians are willing to entrust their patients.
- Blurred line of roles/responsibilities: Some hospitals that have attempted to develop their own programs employ hospitalists that are also serving as private physicians and as obstetric hospitalists. There are multiple billing/revenue implications of this blurred role, and it has a negative impact on patient safety.
- Inadequate management/oversight: Several of our current hospital partners initially tried to develop hospitalist programs in-house but eventually asked us to develop a customized program for them in order to leverage our expertise concerning the clinical and financial management of an obstetric hospitalist program. We have a support staff of over 200 people who focus on billing and coding compliance, data analytics, business development, patient safety/risk management and hospital/physician relations. Furthermore, we take the best practices we see throughout our network and constantly strive to make our programs better. Lastly, we constantly report metrics that track the clinical and financial health of each program so that the hospital is aware of its impact.
- Obstetric emergency department coding, billing and compliance: We have encountered several hospitals that attempted to develop their own program or utilize a local company that has not been compliant and has paid the price. OBED billing and compliance, as well as Obstetrical Service Agreements, can be nuanced, and our team makes sure that hospitals are compliant and billing correctly.
Many of our current hospital partners approached us when they realized that they did not have the time or resources to develop an effective program. In some cases, the decision has been driven by physicians, and in others the decision to reach out to us has been precipitated by an adverse event. Wherever you are in this process, OBHG is eager to help you implement a hospitalist program customized to meet your specific needs and goals.
We invite you to discover more about OBHG and the advantages that our customized programs deliver to our partner hospitals, physicians and patients. Or contact an OBHG representative today via Programs@OBHG.com or 800.967.2289.
Many OBHG clinicians volunteer in leadership roles within their program hospitals, communities or professional organizations. In the Leadership in Action series, OBHG hospitalists share how they choose to serve others.
Dr. Becky Graham cares about education. The Tyler, TX hospitalist has served on multiple professional committees over the years, and was recently named co-chair of the 2018 American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOOG) Fall Conference.
Former teacher Graham says she contributes her time to the ACOOG CME committees because she is a dedicated educator. In addition to her medical degree, she holds a master’s degree in Special Education and a B.A. in Music.
“Education is important to me and important in our specialties,” says Graham. “We have to be up to date on the latest research so we don’t have clinicians who become out of date with their practice habits and unknowingly harm people."
When she first started, Graham worked with physicians who hadn’t read a journal in 20 years. "It was very apparent in the things that they did,” she says.
"When I became a fellow in our college, one of the first things I did was volunteer because I didn’t want to be one of those doctors."
In 2018, Graham will co-chair the ACOOG fall conference alongside fellow Texas OB/GYN Dr. Joseph Bottalico. She will schedule speakers and select session topics, including gynecology, obstetrics, maternal-fetal medicine, and ethics.
She had previously served on the ACOOG bylaws committee and is serving on the CME committee this year.
In addition, nearly a decade ago she co-founded a successful networking/social event for her alma mater’s OB residents who were attending ACOOG.
The event has grown in scope each year and medical students are now able to take part as well.
Elevating care for all
Graham followed her passion for education in serving on the CME committee and encourages other hospitalists to participate in committees or other leadership roles.
“The more input we [hospitalists] have on the local level, the more people understand,” says Graham.
“It increases your ‘street cred.' When you participate, your hospital colleagues know you really want to be a team player. And you want to help make their hospital the best it can be, not just your program. It’s about trying to elevate care all the way around."
Photo: Dr. Graham with colleagues--Back row: Dr. Nanci Bucy, Dr. Edie Rogers, and Dr. Becky Graham; front row: Dr. Rob Pearl and Dr. Gina Dietrich
Earlier this month, University of North Carolina Health Care interviewed OBHG hospitalist Dr. James Hardy on the topic of ovarian cysts. "Most ovarian cysts are harmless and cause no pain. They go away on their own, and you never even knew they existed. But sometimes ovarian cysts can be more serious and require medical attention." Dr. Hardy is the team lead at UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh, NC.
Earlier this month, the California Health and Human Service Agency (CHHS) and Smart Care California released their 2017 C-section honor roll, recognizing hospitals that met or surpassed a 23.9 percent C-section birth rate for first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies. OBHG is proud that 11 of our 18 California hospital partners made the honor roll, and all but one made the list for two consecutive years. The full honor roll lists 111 hospitals, accounting for 45 percent of California's 242 hospitals that offer maternity services.
Here are our partner hospitals that made the C-section honor roll:
- Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
- Bakersfield Memorial Hospital
- Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula
- Dominican Hospital
- El Camino Hospital Los Gatos
- Rancho Springs Medical Center
- Redlands Community Hospital
- Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System
- Sharp Grossmont Hospital
- St. Bernardine Medical Center
- St. Mary Medical Center
OBHG understands the risks associated with C-section deliveries, and having our hospitalists in-house 24/7 can help increase the level of care while driving down the C-section rate in several ways, including:
- Our hospitalists support local physicians with laboring patients, no matter how long it may take.
- OBHG hospitalists work solely in hospitals; therefore, they have specialized expertise in labor and delivery and high-risk situations.
- Our experienced OB/GYN hospitalists developed a new C-section reduction toolkit to standardize our approach to C-section deliveries across our 130+ hospital programs.
Should you still get a flu shot? Experts say it's not too late
Parents are understandably freaking out about the severity of this year's flu, which has so far killed 30 children, according to the CDC. For the first time, the entire country except Hawaii and DC is reporting widespread flu, with many cases from a particularly nasty strain called H3N2. The first question on every parent's mind is, "What can I do to keep my child from catching it?"
It's not every day that an Ob Hospitalist Group employee can give a firsthand testimonial about the care she received from one of our OB hospitalists. Well, November 14, 2017 was the day when Katie Geiss, OBHG Human Resources Business Partner, and her husband Tom welcomed their first child. Unlike other moms-to-be, Katie was fortunate enough to have the inside connection, and she visited St. Francis Eastside in Greenville, SC, to meet OBHG hospitalists Dr. Maridee Spearman and Dr. John Nordeen a couple weeks before her delivery.
At nearly 39 weeks pregnant, on the night of November 13, Katie started feeling contractions but wasn't sure if she was in labor. After waiting about three hours, Katie and Tom finally decided to head to St. Francis Eastside around 1:30 a.m. OBHG hospitalist Dr. Ann Gorman came in and examined Katie, discovering that she was already dilated six centimeters.
"Since I was already six centimeters, they admitted me right away because they thought the baby was going to be coming really quickly," said Katie.
Dr. Spearman, who also acts as team lead for the St. Francis Eastside program, was on shift November 14. She monitored Katie throughout her labor and collaborated closely with Katie's OB/GYN to ensure a successful delivery.
"As soon as Dr. Spearman arrived for her shift, she must have seen my name on the list, because she came in right away to see how I was doing," said Katie. "Not only that, she was with me for the entire process."
Although Katie was pretty far along when she arrived at the hospital, her labor didn't progress.
"Dr. Spearman and a nurse kept coming in to check if I was progressing while they consulted with my doctor," said Katie. "It comforted me to know that there wasn't just a nurse there."
After Katie pushed for a long time, her OB/GYN arrived at the hospital and both doctors agreed that it was best to perform a C-section.
"Before my private physician arrived, Dr. Spearman was with me the entire time," said Katie. "She was so sweet and even brought my husband coffee. She was trying to make us feel as relaxed as possible, and her confidence really assured me that I was going to be okay."
Katie feels that her delivery was successful due to the smooth collaboration and communication between her private physician and Dr. Spearman.
"I knew I was in really good hands with two very experienced doctors."
Thomas James Geiss was born at about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14 and weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces. Katie stayed at St. Francis Eastside until Friday to recover from her C-section. When Dr. Spearman came back on shift that day, she checked on Katie and Thomas before they were discharged from the hospital.
Thanks to OBHG's staff of caring and experienced clinicians, Katie's story is just one of many happy endings that occur at OBHG programs across the country. Congratulations to Katie and Tom!