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OB Hospitalist Program Means Increased Level of Care Close to home

January 08, 2020

Pregnant moms have a lot to think about as it is and where to go for care or having to make a long drive to get that care should not be on their minds. Expectant mothers in Northwest Tennessee no longer have those issues as access to a board-certified obstetrician is available 24 hours a day at Volunteer Hospital in Martin. 

In October, Volunteer Hospital followed the lead of its sister facility, Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and formed a partnership with the largest dedicated OB/GYN hospitalist provider in the country, OB Hospitalist Group (OBHG) to implement an OB Emergency Department. West Tennessee Healthcare Volunteer Hospital and Jackson Madison County General Hospitals are the only two facilities in West Tennessee to have dedicated Emergency Departments for OB patients.

“There have been two hospital closures in our market which have resulted in patients leaving the West Tennessee area for women’s services,” said Donna Barfield, Chief Nursing Officer at Volunteer Hospital. “When an OB patient is experiencing a complication or has a concern, she can come to our OB ED located in our Maternity Center where she will be promptly seen and treated by an experienced Board-Certified OB/GYN. This improves quality of care and patient outcomes.”

This new service enhances patient safety as well as care by ensuring that a board-certified physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology is in the hospital and immediately available at all times, 24 hours a day, seven days of the week, every day of the year. The OB hospitalist program’s additional support also means consistent care for unassigned or uninsured patients, rapid response for emergency care and quicker consults for gynecological emergencies in the ED or surgery. 

“Having an OB/GYN hospitalist program at Volunteer Hospital means pregnant women can be confident an experienced obstetrician will be delivering her baby, even if her own provider can’t be present,” said Barfield. “In addition to board certification, OBHG team members have received special training in advanced fetal monitoring, risk management, operative delivery, coding and compliance and advanced cardiac life support.

“This new service underscores Volunteer Hospital’s commitment to quality in our maternal care program. Having an OB ED improves patient access to specialist care and enhances patient safety and outcomes,” said Darrell Blaylock, CEO of Volunteer Hospital. “These highly experienced obstetricians provide care for patients who come in through our dedicated emergency department with an obstetric emergency and for those who have no physician.”

To further enhance Volunteer Hospital’s OB program, certified nurse midwife, Beckie Johnson has joined West Tennessee Medical Group. She has over 9 years of experience delivering babies at Volunteer Hospital and was previously a Registered Nurse in our Maternity Center. She will continue to see patients in the outpatient setting and will receive assistance from the OB Hospitalist Group in the hospital setting, if needed.

“Jackson Madison County General Hospital has partnered with this OB Hospitalist Group for several years. With more than 150 programs nationwide, OBHG is the largest dedicated OB/GYN hospitalist provider and their program has become the industry standard for excellence,” said Barfield. “Our program utilizes a core group of eight Board-Certified OB/GYN’s from the OBHG group that work on a rotating schedule. This group of physicians has been warmly received by patients, our community, and hospital staff. The comments we have received from patients and their family members have been overwhelmingly positive.”