We’re thrilled to announce that PBC has signed a practice agreement for consultation and referral with the Ob Hospitalist Group (OBHG)!
The OBHG was founded in 2006 to “elevate the standard of women’s healthcare by ensuring every expectant mother presenting to the hospital receives consistent and unconditional medical care by an experienced physician.” The OBHG has a national network of over 560 OB hospitalists serving in more than 120 hospitals across 28 states—including Winchester Medical Center.
This agreement retains our autonomy to practice as we've been trained, but puts in place parameters for communication and teamwork between the PBC midwives and the OBHG physicians in our community.
What does this mean for our clients?
Kim Pekin explains that the PBC midwives are already seeing a shift in their relationships with the hospitalists: “We’ve been able to seamlessly receive consultation and to transfer clients to them when needed. We’re doing parallel care with our higher risk clients. For those clients, we are able to refer them to the Shenandoah Maternal-Fetal Medicine practice for consultation and collaboration for prenatal care, and, then, if their risk factors are not within our guidelines for an out-of-hospital birth, the moms give birth with the hospitalists, and with our support.”
Communication and Teamwork
According to the signed agreement, “The on-call physician and midwife shall be mutually available to one another throughout their on-call shifts….and shall communicate in a timely manner regarding any abnormal developments in the care of PBC patients.” This level of teamwork will create seamless transfer experiences for our clients and ensure that a hospitalist receiving a transfer is fully up to speed on the woman’s care history and labor notes. We can brief the hospitalists by phone on cases that might require a later transfer and receive their input on questions we might have. In addition, when an OBHG physician is involved in the care of one of our moms, our midwives receive the physician's consult notes, which become a part of the woman's full chart.
PBC and OBHG will meet together on a regular basis now, review care provided during consultations and transfers. The midwives will have an opportunity to seek input from the hospitalists for women who have health challenges during their pregnancies. This means that a PBC client can rest assured that her care is part of a greater network of maternal health care. Choosing an out-of-hospital birth doesn’t mean isolation from the medical community; rather, it’s just one element to the totality of quality care offered by PBC midwives and the larger OBHG network. PBC moms can concentrate fully on their prenatal health and labors and allow us to focus on the necessary care and risk assessments.
Ease of Transfers
The practice agreement ensures that PBC midwives and OBHG physicians will already have strong working relationships, a familiarity with the PBC clients in the event of a need for hospital support, and a routine transfer protocol. All of this means that our clients can expect seamless and easy transfer of care and the focus where it belongs: on the mother and baby.
When a PBC client is transferred, the midwife provides the receiving physician records and gives a verbal account of the woman’s labor and prenatal care. Our midwives remain with our clients in a supportive role once the physician takes over the care in the hospital.
Flexibility of Care
With a strong practice agreement and processes in place, our moms can be assured that no matter where their pregnancy and labors take them, they will experience high quality care. OBHG and PBC work together to develop a plan of care, which may involve further tests, evaluation, parallel care, or referral to Shenandoah Maternal-Fetal Medicine or to an OBHG hospitalist at Winchester Medical Center.
In a nutshell, the pregnant woman and her health is at the nexus of our agreement, and we couldn’t be more excited about this expansion of comprehensive care for our clients.
OBHG will also serve as our primary obstetric consultant, which means providing standing orders for necessary medications (such as antihemorrhagics) and oxygen, making home and birth center births safer.
At the birth center on June 15th, Dr. Lisa Bukovac, head of OBHG hospitalists at Winchester Medical Center, was on hand to answer questions about the new agreement. She returns later in July for another Q&A session. It's an exciting time for us - to see these relationships grow and benefit our clients. It’s truly the beginning of a new and productive collaboration, which will only elevate the high quality of care that we’re committed to bringing to all of our PBC clients.