The Obstetrics Podcast: The realities of managing on-site L&D coverage

To listen to an in-depth conversation on this topic with Dr. Mark Olszyk, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President at Carroll Hospital, hit the play button below:


An elegant L&D solution

As the sole hospital in the county with about 1,000 deliveries per year, Carroll Hospital in Maryland provides quality care that ensures new moms remain with the Carroll Hospital system. This includes a program of couplet care, where the mom and the newborn baby stay in the same room, no matter what conditions surround the birth and aftercare.

It wasn’t always like this. A little over two years ago, Carroll Hospital Chief Medical Officer and Vice President Dr. Mark Olszyk and his team took a good hard look at their labor and delivery department. They didn’t like what they saw and endeavored to changed things for the better for their administrative staff, healthcare practitioners and patients alike.

Dr. Olszyk shares his unique insight about the evolution of his hospital’s labor and delivery department to a comprehensive in-house coverage model in partnership with OB Hospitalist Group (OBHG).


Clearing the clutter

Dr. Olszyk explains what his labor and delivery department looked like before this change: “If I had to pick one word, it would be Byzantine.” With a hospital and an associated multi-specialty care group, OB/GYNs and midwives rotated call covering their own patients plus triaging for community practices and any unaffiliated, unassigned patients.

At one point, the department had three, if not four, parallel call schedules, which led to a lot of confusion. Dr. Olszyk was forced to become the scheduler of last resort, frequently negotiating last-minute coverage. The overly complicated nature of this arrangement ran the risk of inadequate coverage and physician burnout. It was clearly untenable.

“We did a couple of different proformas and looked at different models. If we did it entirely ourselves—compared to just contracting out to a company such as OBHG—we could save a little bit of money,” Dr. Olszyk recalls. “But that doesn’t account for all of the realities, all of the risks, all of the tears on the part of the administrative staff and the leadership, trying to ensure that the call schedule is filled up and the patients are taken care of.”


A change for the better

As Dr. Olszyk puts is, partnering with OBHG was an “elegant solution.” “I’m no longer the scheduler. I’m no longer the recruiter. If there’s ever an opening, they do all of the recruiting, the initial credentialing. They monitor them. They take care of all the HR. We have the luxury of setting the performance metrics, and they cascade it down. And, they give us very nice, high-production value monthly reports.”

“It’s just gotten better and better,” Dr. Olszyk continues. “The trust has continued to deepen, the relationships have broadened. I think the patients are much happier. They’re certainly well taken care of. The nurses are very happy as well. So, it’s really enhanced the department cohesion. There are fewer issues to address.”

Dr. Olszyk also appreciates OBHG’s stellar reputation and accountability in every aspect. “It’s really been a wonderful relationship and I’ve enjoyed getting to know all of the physicians, as well as their leadership over the last two years.”

Listen to the full episode of The Obstetrics Podcast featuring Dr. Olszyk here.

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