RENTON, WA - On January 1, 2009 Valley Medical Center (VMC) launched the first Obstetrics Hospitalist Program of its kind in the greater Seattle area. This new service enhances patient safety and care by ensuring that a board certified physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology is in the hospital and immediately available at all times – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Program ensures that every woman admitted for emergency obstetric or gynecologic care is examined and evaluated by a physician. In addition, the hospitalists are immediately available for ongoing medical needs or unexpected emergencies of hospitalized patients. To support this initiative, VMC is working with OB Hospitalist Group, a national physician group that specializes in caring for the obstetrical and gynecological needs of women.
Hospitalists are physicians who specialize solely in caring for patients who are hospitalized. The current hospitalists on staff at VMC are board-certified or board-eligible internal medicine physicians.
“Valley Medical Center is a recognized leader in the services provided to women and infants in the region. In 2008 alone more than 4,000 babies were delivered at The Birth Center at Valley Medical Center. The continuum of care provided by physicians on the medical staff – ranging from the routine delivery of healthy newborns to highly complex cases – will be enhanced by the on-site support of OB hospitalists,” said Dr. Chris Swain, director of the OB Hospitalist Group.
Under the new Obstetrics Hospitalist Program, specialized physician hospitalists will provide a number of important services including:
• Caring for patients transferred to VMC from outlying areas who require high-risk pregnancy care
• Providing emergency services for all obstetrics patients, including those with a private physician, until that physician’s arrival
• Assisting private physicians with cesarean section (C-section) deliveries
• Stabilizing patients in emergency situations on the obstetrics/gynecology floors until the patient’s attending physician arrives
• Providing obstetric care for patients with no local obstetrician.
“We are always looking for opportunities to improve the care we provide to our patients,” said Dr. Kathryn Beattie, Chief Medical Officer at VMC. “The presence of the OB Hospitalists will enhance availability of emergency labor and delivery care. We are implementing the OB hospitalist program to add another layer of confidence for women choosing to give birth at VMC. Sometimes an obstetrician may already be delivering a baby, busy with an emergency, or caught in traffic trying to get to the hospital. Having an OB/GYN hospitalist program means that every pregnant woman can be confident that an experienced obstetrician will be delivering her baby, even if her own physician can’t be present. As the first hospital in the Seattle area to provide an OB hospitalist program, we offer unequaled peace of mind for pregnant women,” she added.
Hospital medicine is the fastest growing medical specialty in the United States according to the Society of Hospital Medicine. It is estimated that more than 20,000 hospitalists practice today in the U.S. On any given day at Valley Medical Center, there are approximately seventy five (75) patients whose care is directed by, or provided in consultation with a hospitalist physician. That number is expected to grow significantly with the addition of the Obstetrics Hospitalist Program.
For more information on programs and services at Valley Medical Center, visit valleymed.org. For healthcare referrals, contact Health Connection by phone at 863-291-6705 or 1-800-416-6705.
About OB Hospitalist Group
OB Hospitalist Group, LLC is a nationwide specialist in development, staffing, and management of obstetric hospitalist programs. For more information visit www.OBHG.org.
Back to Press Releases