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July 23, 2009

2 groups recognize Magee

Magee-Womens Hospital recently was honored by two organizations.

Magee won a first-place achievement award from the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) in patient safety for achievements in researching and improving the process for elective induction of labor.

Dennis English, vice president of medical affairs at Magee, and a team of obstetricians and nurses led the initiative, recognizing the negative consequences of electively inducing labor upon a mother’s request.

Over a 15-year period, from 1989 to 2004, elective inductions in the United States increased from 9 percent of pregnant women in 1989 to 21 percent in 2004. Premature or inappropriate inductions — those prior to 39 weeks’ gestation — can lead to complications including an increased risk of Caesarean birth, longer and more complicated labor and higher risk of admission to a neonatal intensive care unit for the newborn.

English and his team developed stricter guidelines and criteria for inducing labor electively before the pregnancy comes to term, with only situations involving an unwell mother or infant warranting an early induction. Since the beginning of this initiative, the Magee team has reduced the elective induction rate before 39 weeks’ gestation from 12 percent to zero.

In addition, Practice Greenhealth, a membership association devoted to environmentally responsible health care, honored Magee for its leadership in protecting the environment and patients and educating staff and parents about environmental health.

The only hospital in the region honored among more than 140 facilities nationwide, Magee received both the DEHP-Free Award and the Partner for Change Award. The DEHP-Free Award recognizes the hospital’s efforts to find safer alternatives for medical devices containing DEHP, a chemical that is used to soften plastics and is linked to birth defects and other illnesses.

The Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that improve their mercury elimination, waste reduction and pollution prevention programs.

Under the leadership of its “green team,” a representative group of hospital staff, Magee has pursued a wide variety of initiatives, including nearly eliminating mercury-containing equipment from the hospital, replacing plastic and foam containers with biodegradable products in its food service, implementing a hospital-wide recycling program and using environmentally friendly materials in remodeling projects.

Magee also counsels parents about environmental health in prenatal classes and offers an environmental health reference room for staff and families.

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