Health Systems

Baylor is DFW’s First Level IV Maternal Care Center

The state created a new rating system to make sure women get the appropriate care.

Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas has been designated as a Level IV maternal care center, the highest possible designation by the Texas Department of State Health Services. It is one of six hospitals in Texas and the only one in North Texas with this designation.

Texas became one of the first states to rate their hospitals for maternal care, responding to worrying data about maternal mortality in Texas. “The rate was much higher than one would expect from a first world country that does so well in every other economic measure,” says Dr. Anthony Gregg, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Baylor University Medical Center.

Prior to the new designation, which was communicated to hospitals by the DSHS last week, hospitals were ranked according to neonatal intensive care, but the maternal piece of the equation was lacking. The new designation will serve as a way for referring hospitals to know where a patient should be sent based on their needs.

“It is our great honor and responsibility to care for mothers and babies, and this recognition is an example of how our multi-disciplinary staff continues to work tirelessly for our patients,” said Steven Newton, president of Baylor University Medical Center via release. “Our maternal care team continues to provide safe, quality care while sharing resources, training and best practices with other delivery sites across the metroplex.”

BUMC was designated because of its ability to provide comprehensive care, all necessary medical and maternal subspecialists, a maternal medical director and maternal fetal medicine critical care team, intensive care unit, and more. Other requirements include perinatal outreach to providing services and delivery practices to outlying hospitals, thought leadership, safe and efficient air and ground transportation, and continuing education.

The designation was given after a two-day onsite survey of medical staff and facilities as well as a review of hospital policies. BUMC already had the core of services and needs required for a Level IV designation, but Gregg says the survey inspired staff to perfect processes, improve communication, and make transitions seamless. “This is not something that happened over night,” he says.

“We are honored to be the first hospital in the Dallas metroplex to receive a Level IV designation by the State of Texas,” said Gregg via release. “It is a testament to the hardworking doctors, nurses and medical staff which lead our mission by providing quality care and enhanced patient experience. We have extended these principles to our unique outreach and education programs in order to touch the broader community. Families, women, and babies across the metroplex have access to quality maternity care at Baylor University Medical Center. That’s a win for everyone.”

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