Wayne Memorial Wins Two State Level Awards Focused on Maternal and Infant Health
Wayne Memorial Hospital in Jesup has been awarded two state level awards due to their increased focus on maternal and infant health. As part of their commitment to quality improvement and as a member of the Georgia Perinatal Quality Collaborative (GaPQC), Wayne Memorial was a winner of the Dedication to Maternal Quality Improvement Award from GaPQC, as the hospital achieved a 72 percent reduction in severe maternal morbidity for hypertension from 2016-2022 The hospital also met the qualifications to attain GaPQC’s Rural Hospitals Maternal Outcomes Achievement Award. Wayne is one of 14 winning hospitals in the state to qualify for this award. Hospital Nurse Lois Hershberger shares that Drs. Jeffrey Harris and Sandra Mager found the GaPQC state grant in 2018 and brought it to the hospital for consideration. The program brings hospitals together in a formal collaboration to share strategies for improvement, data collection and educational opportunities. There are 37 hospitals total in the state of Georgia that deliver babies.
“Wayne Memorial’s physicians and Obstetrics Staff have always looked and continue to look at improvement. They do so by weighing current policies for improved assessment, early recognition and treatment strategies – strategies that are effective, quickly accessed and then standardized for all patients across the continuum of care,” said Dr. Jeffrey Harris of Wayne Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Hershberger added, “Two-thirds of women in Georgia must travel outside of their home county to obtain prenatal care and to deliver their baby, because the care is unavailable otherwise. In fact, 37% of Wayne Memorial’s deliveries in 2021 were from patients living in counties without a delivering hospital. And, 23% live in counties with delivery hospitals, but chose to come to Wayne Memorial instead.” Currently, there are 37 hospitals total in the state of Georgia that deliver babies.
Maternal and infant health has been a focus globally and locally. According to the World Health Organization, the maternal mortality ratio (the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) decreased by approximately 38 percent between 2000 and 2017. In the state of Georgia, lawmakers have chosen to address the issue via HR 589.
GaPQC’s mission is to establish and maintain a robust statewide perinatal data and quality improvement system that engages stakeholders in evidence-based practices to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies throughout Georgia. Their vision is for all perinatal stakeholders in Georgia coming together to improve health and outcomes for all Georgia mothers and babies.