The New York State Department of Health has given a prestigious award to NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx for its education program aimed at preventing hypertensive disorders in pregnant women and new mothers.
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx received the 2015 Quality Improvement Award from the New York State Perinatal Quality Collaborative Obstetrical Improvement Project for its efforts to identify maternal hemorrhage and hypertension.
“If you pick up the symptoms early, you prevent the mother from experiencing the disease,” says Dr. Chinyere Anyaogu, Vice-Chairperson of the Department of OB-GYN at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. “A lot of times, you think once you leave the hospital, you’re okay. But the early warning signs often show that you need to be looked at. So we get to see the patient before she advances in the illness.”
Under North Central Bronx’s prenatal program, every new mother—not just those considered to be at higher risk—is given a pamphlet and information on postpartum preeclampsia (a common form of hypertension) before they are discharged.
In addition, the hospital’s entire maternity team — including doctors, nurses, midwives and support staff — has been educated on the importance of informing new mothers about the risks of hypertension.
In a letter to the hospital, Dr. Marilyn A. Kacica, Medical Director for Division of Family Health for the NYS Department of Health, wrote: “This award is being given to facilities whose project teams reported that greater than 80 percent of women were both evaluated for their risk of hemorrhage at the time of admission to the birth hospitalization, and after delivery, received information on the signs and symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia prior to discharge. This is the highest level of achievement possible for this project, and we commend your entire team for their exemplary work and commitment to this important cause. We hope staff at your facility will continue to focus on this area to ensure ongoing success.”
In fact, Dr. Anyaogu says, 100 percent of new mothers discharged from North Central Bronx are informed about the risks and dangers of postpartum hypertension. Hypertension during pregnancy is not uncommon, she notes, so it is important to monitor new mothers after birth in case the symptoms do not go away. Failure to treat the disease, she says, can lead to serious illnesses, including organ damage, heart problems, and stroke.
As a result of the hospitals’ intensified education program, Dr. Anyaogu says, “Patients are calling us more. Sometimes, it just requires more follow up in the clinics. And sometimes, patients are brought in and put under observation and given medication. So the program has been very positive.”
To view the letter from the NYS Department of Health to NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx, click here.