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Commitment to Quality

Family Birthing Center: Improving maternal care

Patient Safety and Quality of Care:

As one of Louisiana’s largest birthing hospitals, as well as New Orleans’ high-risk delivery hospital, Touro is committed to providing quality, patient-centered care for both mothers and babies. We know that in order to improve Maternal Health for our patients, we must provide quality care within our Family Birthing Center and outside the walls of our hospital, within our community.

  • As part of the Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (LaPQC), Touro is playing an active role to advance healthcare equity, implement best practices, and improve outcomes for women and newborns in Louisiana. Touro Infirmary is proud to be a participating birthing facility in the LaPQC Reducing Maternal Morbidity Initiative.
  • Touro is committed to upholding evidence-based best practices to ensure safe, equitable, and dignified birth for all birthing patients. This includes safety policies, protocols, and daily operations to identify and efficiently treat hemorrhage and hypertension.
    • Touro meets the standard of care for hemorrhage policy, massive transfusion protocol, hemorrhage cart, and staff education about hemorrhage.
    • Touro meets the standard of care for measuring and remeasuring blood pressure, hypertension policy, and Emergency Department Hypertension Policy for pregnant and postpartum patients.
    • Touro measures effectiveness of these policies and protocols through monitoring the timely treatment of severe hypertension and percent of hemorrhage risk assessments on admissions.
    • Touro continues to reduce and eliminate Early Elective Deliveries between 37-39 weeks gestation. Touro continues to lower our cesarean birth rate which leads to better quality care and improved health outcomes.
  • Touro implements a variety of safety and quality improvement initiatives, including Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) program implementation designed to improve maternal outcomes. We are also proud to have Touro’s OB/GYNs serving as physician advisers and subject matter experts within the AIM collaborative.
  • In 2020, Touro launched an Obstetrician Hospitalist program ensuring 24-hour staffing of hospitalist physicians trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology. This program integrates clinical and hospital OB/GYN practices to improve health quality and decrease maternal and infant mortality.
  • In 2021, the Family Birthing Center instituted Couplet Care nursing model, and initiated IPASS handoff process for improved communication between shifts and providers. The Birthing Center increased OB emergency drills for providers and staff and a perinatal safety nurse was added to staff. All of these initiatives are recommended as best practices by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for improved patient safety and quality of care.
  • Health Equity Training is provided to Family Birthing Center providers and staff. Training includes:
    • Identification of disparities in care and how disparity impacts maternal and infant health outcomes;
    • How to decrease health disparities at the interpersonal and facility levels;
    • Historical sources of health disparities;
    • How to effectively communicate and establish transparency across identities, including racial, ethnic, religious, geographic, and gender identities;
    • Community perspectives and resources from diverse, local constituency groups and experts;
    • Case studies that highlight the impact of health disparities and how they might be addressed.

Community Health Education and Resources:

Touro recognizes that our community suffers from a higher rate of maternal morbidity and mortality than anywhere else in the U.S. As a community hospital that has delivered babies for more than 100 years, Touro is committed to improving the health of the women in our community and changing that statistic. Touro partners with both local and national organizations to provide Maternal Health education, screenings, and resources to promote health equity and improve access to healthcare for women in our community.

  • BUILD Health Challenge: Touro is the recipient of a grant with the Bayou District Foundation, Nola Breastfeeding Center and Louisiana Department of Health called the Build Health Challenge, which is focusing on providing a high-risk New Orleans population, Columbia Parc and residents in 70112, free perinatal health support services and education to help families have the best birth outcomes possible. Touro is providing lactation education and support to expectant and new moms in this community.
  • Institute for Health Improvements and Merck for Mothers Birth
    Equity Lab
    : Collaboration between Touro, Birthmark Doulas, and community stakeholders to develop standards and protocols that will improve birth outcomes. The goals are to spread the use of evidence-based care practices to reduce complications such as hemorrhaging, hypertension, and blood clots; deploy strategies to reduce inequities in maternal outcomes; and to partner with women, their caregivers, health care providers, and community initiatives to better learn and address factors that improve health outcomes for mothers and newborns. This includes providing expectant mothers with free doula services and postpartum navigation for high-risk patients.
  • Healthy Start New Orleans Maternal Mortality Initiative: Partnership to provide a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner to provide clinic visits to identified high risk prenatal patient at LSU OB clinic, Touro Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic, and provide navigation for these patients throughout the postpartum period.
  • Healthy Start New Orleans Family Recovery Collaborative: Collaborating with Healthy Start New Orleans, physicians, social service agencies, mental health agencies, the legal system and other community partners, work to identify expectant mothers affected by opioid misuse, and connect them to the appropriate resources to aid in their care and recovery. The idea of the Family Recovery Collaborative will be to support expectant mothers by providing comprehensive care-coordination services specific to their needs during and after pregnancy. This includes assigning a doula for first time moms.
  • NOLA baby café Touro: The Touro Foundation sponsors two Nola baby café evening locations which provides a free drop-in breastfeeding education and support clinic. Baby café is an international evidence-based service that aims to increase breastfeeding rates by decreasing disparities and providing a relaxed judgment free environment for families. Touro is the only hospital in Louisiana to sponsor and host a baby café.
  • Express Yourself: Touro participates in the Kellogg funded grant, Express Yourself, which focuses on the provision of mother’s own breast milk to very low birth weight infants.
  • Nursing Nests: Touro is partnering with local businesses and community organizations to establish free “Nursing Nests” for moms and babies throughout the city of New Orleans. Nursing Nests are a private, safe, and comfortable space for moms to nurse and care for babies. Breastfeeding provides unmatched health benefits for babies and mothers, and to celebrate 100 years of being the place where babies come from, Touro is supporting mom and baby by providing this much-needed resource to our community. Locations of Nursing Nests: Lakeside Mall Kids Castle, New Orleans Jewish Community Center, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium. Our Mobile Nursing Nest is available at outdoor community events to provide support to moms everywhere they are.

Awards and Designations:

The Family Birthing Center at Touro is recognized by state and national organizations for providing quality care to moms and babies. Each of the below designations are awarded as a result of meeting expansive guidelines for providing evidence-based best practices in maternity care.

  • Louisiana Birth Ready +: Touro is one of only a select number of hospitals in Louisiana to receive the Birth Ready + Designation from Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (LaPQC). Touro met the 37 requirements of the designation and performed at the Birth Ready + level for outcomes and process measures. Birth Ready Designation also celebrates improved perinatal health outcomes, the result of implementing clinical practices that promote safe, equitable, and dignified birth for all birthing persons in Louisiana. Each Designation level includes five areas of requirement: participation in collaborative learning; health disparity and patient partnership; policies and procedures; structures and education; and outcome and process measures.
  • Baby Friendly Designation: Touro is designated a Baby-Friendly Birth Facility by Baby Friendly USA, Inc., the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding for mothers and their babies.
  • Gift Designation: The Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Public Health – Bureau of Family Health awards The Gift designation statewide to Louisiana birthing facilities who improve hospital practices and policies that are aligned with the evidence-based, internationally recognized Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding of the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
  • Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana designated Touro as one of the first hospitals to receive the national Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care designation, a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community.
  • Ultrasound Practice Accreditation: Touro’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic was the first practice in New Orleans to be awarded Ultrasound Practice Accreditation by The Ultrasound Practice Accreditation Council of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine in the areas of Obstetric- First Trimester, Obstetric- Second Trimester, and Obstetric- Third Trimester. Touro’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic achieved this recognition by meeting rigorous voluntary guidelines set by the diagnostic ultrasound profession.
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