newborn with parents

Saint Peter’s Hospital First to Earn Level IV Maternal Care Verification

The Joint Commission’s Maternal Levels of Care (MLC) Verification program, offered in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), has named Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, as a Level IV maternal care verified facility. The hospital is the first in the nation to receive this new designation from The Joint Commission, the highest level attainable and a recognition requiring an arduous review process. The Maternal Levels of Care verification is valid for three years.

The verification program provides an objective assessment of a facility’s capabilities and verifies that a hospital has the expertise, equipment and resources in place for a patient’s specific needs and risk level.

As a Level IV facility, Saint Peter’s is recognized for its onsite medical and surgical care of the most complex maternal conditions and critically ill pregnant women and babies before, during and after pregnancy. The hospital recently expanded the ability to view fetal heart rate monitoring for a mother whether she’s in labor and delivery or in the adult intensive care unit by looking at one big monitor that’s tracking all the information for providers on all floors. This procedure increases situational awareness allowing monitoring as to what’s happening with babies in every unit.

Level IV status includes verification for meeting the criteria required for Level I, which is defined as “basic care” – caring for low- to moderate-risk pregnancies, demonstrating the ability to detect, stabilize, and initiate management of unanticipated maternal-fetal or neonatal problems that occur during antepartum, intrapartum, or postpartum period until the patient can be transferred to a facility at which the specialty maternal care is available, such as Saint Peter’s.

Level II is assessed as a hospital’s ability to offer “specialty care,” which includes meeting Level I criteria plus moderate- to high-risk antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum conditions. Level III is assessed as offering “subspecialty care,” meaning that in addition to meeting the criteria for Levels I and II, the facility must show the ability to care for more complex maternal medical conditions, obstetric complications and fetal conditions.

“It is a tremendous honor to be the first hospital in the country to receive The Joint Commission’s Maternal Levels of Care Verification as a Level IV facility,” said Carlos Benito, MD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “While Saint Peter’s has long been recognized regionally for its comprehensive care for expectant mothers and newborns, The Joint Commission’s verification offers further validation that we are equipped to deliver all levels of care from low-risk to the most complicated cases.”

Saint Peter’s also earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Perinatal Care, a symbol of quality that reflects the organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care for mothers and infants leading up to, during and after birth.

“The Joint Commission commends Saint Peter’s University Hospital for being named a Level IV maternal care verified facility and for its efforts to standardize maternal care and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “The Maternal Levels of Care Verification program will help Saint Peter’s strengthen regionalized care for mothers and babies in its community.”

Saint Peter’s was also recognized by Newsweek as one of the nation’s Best Maternity Hospitals for 2022.

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