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Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois, serves a diverse population of patients from the Tri-state area of Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois. The hospital performs just under 1,100 deliveries annually. In recent years, Blessing Hospital saw an increased need to address certain patient challenges—which initiated the discussion about forming a partnership with Ob Hospitalist Group (OBHG).
“We’re definitely seeing a lot more high-acuity patients, more comorbidities, which really sparked our interest in even more need for an OB hospitalist program and interest in creating a partnership with OBHG,” states Jamie Kane, Maternal Child Services Nurse Manager of Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois. “The need for care became greater and access to care became more difficult for some of our patients. We knew the need for our patients was going to increase.”
Predominantly, the hospital delivers patients 34 weeks and greater. Anything prior to 34 weeks is typically sent off to the hospital’s tertiary care centers. “With that kind of a distance, it’s really important we have a great team of providers and exceptional nursing care on staff,” she adds.
The path to hospital partnership
Kane describes the path to solidifying the collaboration with OBHG as a “three-year dream.” The original conversations focused on the forthcoming needs of the community. At the two-year mark, hospital leadership began to get serious about how to make that happen. Ultimately, OBHG was able to present a solution that made sense for the community.
“It made sense for our community providers, for our staff. It made the best sense for our patients. OBHG was able to help us create a program that fit our needs, could keep our patients safe, and help us deliver the safety we were looking for. We couldn’t be more pleased with what they’ve helped us build for our patients,” shares Kane.
The only sticking point was that implementation occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kane notes the challenge of training, especially when it had to be done virtually instead of in person. There was also the unknown about how COVID-19 affected pregnant women, specifically.
“There was a lot of anxiety around launching a new program in and of itself, but then throwing the pandemic on top of it was definitely interesting. All in all, I think it went very well. I don’t feel anything was hindered in the process. It just invited us to do things a little bit differently and we improvised and made it work. We made it.”
Patient and community provider benefits
Since implementation, Kane and her colleagues have witnessed multiple benefits. Every patient who comes into the hospital is registered with the OB emergency department and is seen by an OB hospitalist in a timely manner. Another addition that’s been well received is the ability to tend to the needs of women who wish to deliver vaginally after having a C-section procedure (VBAC).
“We are thrilled we’re able to safely offer that (VBACs) here with the support of OBHG and our hospitalists. That has been a wonderful addition to our hospital and our community. Overall, we are getting great feedback from our patients. They feel well cared for. They really feel listened to, and we’re able to promptly take care of them,” shares Kane.
An equally important benefit has been the confidence boost among hospital staff. Retention has improved among nurses, particularly. Staff feels supported at every turn, which reduces the anxiety of having to navigate things on their own—especially for precarious and life-threatening scenarios like hemorrhaging.
“Our community physicians know they have support any time of the day or night. Without hesitation, our hospitalists are jumping in. You can’t put a price on that. It’s something our physicians and staff appreciate beyond measure.”
Listen to the full podcast “From reactionary to safer, efficient obstetrics care” featuring Jamie Kane..
Also, read the case study to learn more about how Blessing Hospital’s labor and delivery model has improved since partnering with OBHG.