The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and the Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (LaPQC) are recognizing 11 hospitals that have achieved new Birth Ready Designations for committing to practices that improve quality and outcomes for persons giving birth.
The Birth Ready Designation is a system that reinforces and ensures birthing facilities are implementing best practices to improve readiness for addressing the leading causes of maternal deaths. The Birth Ready Designation is part of an initiative in the LDH Business Plan, which includes a focus on improving maternal health and outcomes from pregnancy through childhood.
The 11 hospitals designated Birth Ready this year are in addition to 16 hospitals that achieved the Birth Ready designation in 2021. Twenty-seven of the state’s 49 hospitals have now been recognized as Birth Ready, with eight of the hospitals achieving the Birth Ready+ Designation.
“On behalf of the LaPQC, I want to congratulate all of the birthing facilities who have earned Birth Ready or Birth Ready+ Designation,” said Dr. Veronica Gillispie-Bell, medical director of the LaPQC. “Our list of hospitals that have met the criteria has grown in a short time. This honor has even more significance when you think about the challenges hospitals are facing right now between staff shortages and the ever-changing landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Achieving designation speaks to the resiliency of processes in our hospitals to improve birth outcomes.”
Birth Ready Designation celebrates improved perinatal health outcomes, the result of implementing clinical practices that promote safe, equitable and dignified birth for all birthing persons in Louisiana.
New facilities receiving Birth Ready Designation include:
- Christus Shreveport-Bossier
- Iberia Medical Center
- Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women
- Lakeview Regional Medical Center
- Minden Medical Center
- Ochsner Medical Center West Bank
- Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital
- St. Tammany Parish Health System
- Terrebonne General Health System
- West Jefferson Medical Center
New facilities receiving Birth Ready+ Designation include:
- Touro Infirmary
To achieve designation, facilities met criteria in five dimensions, including implementation of policies and procedures, promoting patient partnership, and addressing health disparities and equity. The eight hospitals that achieved Birth Ready+ Designation have met a higher threshold of compliance and achievement of the requirements.
Regardless of level, all facilities that achieve this designation have done the hard work of improving the consistency and culture of care at their facilities. Facilities receiving this honor went through a rigorous application and review process by the LaPQC. Applications are reviewed and renewed annually for sustained compliance. Many of the hospitals awarded designation have been working with the LaPQC for years.
The work of the LaPQC, an initiative of the Department’s Bureau of Family Health and the Louisiana Commission on Perinatal Care and Prevention of Infant Mortality, is dedicated to improving perinatal and neonatal outcomes across Louisiana. Birth outcomes in Louisiana have historically been among the worst in the nation: Between 2011 and 2016, about half of all deaths that were associated with a recent birth were preventable. The LaPQC was created to promote the implementation of evidence-based practices to reduce significant factors that contribute to poor birth outcomes. The collaborative also focuses on promoting health equity and reducing racial and ethnic disparities.
Facilities interested in joining the LaPQC to earn Birth Ready Designation can contact State Perinatal Quality Program Manager Dr. Amy Ladley at Amy.Ladley@la.gov.
For more information on Birth Ready Designation and a full list of hospitals, visit PartnersForFamilyHealth.org/birth-ready.