Catholic Health's Sisters of Charity Hospital and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo have been named Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care as part of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York's Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
This designation recognizes birthing centers that deliver quality specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective, transparent measures of patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community. In addition to labor and delivery services and perinatal testing, the birth center at Sisters Hospital includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, while the center at Mercy Hospital includes a Level II NICU.
Nearly 4 million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization, and cesarean sections the most common operating room procedures, according to National Centers for Health Statistics and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In 2017, more than 6,000 babies were delivered in Catholic Health, with Sisters Hospital delivering more babies than any other hospital west of Syracuse.
"There is a reason more families deliver their babies at Catholic Health than any other local provider," said Aimee Gomlak, vice president of women's services for the Buffalo-based health system. "It's about the quality and safety of the care provided by our skilled and caring doctors, nurses, midwives and support staff; and the specialized services we offer - all of which go into being named a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care."
The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on quality measures for vaginal and cesarean delivery. "We are pleased that Catholic Health's Mercy Hospital and Sisters Hospital have been recognized for their maternity care," said Dr. Thomas Schenk, senior vice president and chief medical officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. "Having these nationally recognized centers in our BlueCross BlueShield network ensures the members we serve have access to high quality care."
Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the nation have recognized more than 1,000 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized with this designation are assessed using a combination of quality information supplied by hospitals and cost measures derived from BCBS companies' medical claims.
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, maternity care, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that, compared to other hospitals, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.
For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.