Munson Cadillac becomes ninth hospital in state to reach 'Platinum' level of birthing safety

Pictured is the Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital Family Birth Center staff, from left, John Linderman, RNC, Emilie Black, RNC, Hope Mitchell, CNM, Shelley Rosenberry, Unit Secretary, Kellie Prielipp, RNC, Lori Barnes, RNC, Jessica Andersen, OB Assistant and Laura Ducheny, RNC.

CADILLAC — Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital recently was recognized as having one of the safest birthing centers in the state.

The hospital received Platinum status designation from the Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health — a national maternal safety and quality improvement initiative.

According to a Munson press release, the Alliance strives to decrease maternal mortality and morbidity in Michigan by working with birthing hospitals to implement pregnancy safety "bundles."

The bundles are designed to improve health outcomes for mothers by combating the leading causes of preventable maternal deaths — severe hypertension, hemorrhaging, infection and sepsis, and perinatal mood disorder.

The safety bundle equips hospitals with protocols, equipment, staff education, and drills to prevent and adequately treat severe maternal events, according to the press release.

Munson Healthcare Cadillac’s Family Birth Center is the only Platinum-designated hospital within the Munson Healthcare system and one of only nine hospitals in Michigan. Hospitals earn designation status based on their birthing center’s participation and performance in training, provider education, risk assessments and outcome data reporting.

Lori Barnes, registered nurse and senior manager of the Family Birth Center, said attaining the Platinum status requires extensive collaboration between staff members specialized in a wide range of disciplines, including anesthesiologists, obstetrician-gynecologists, OB nurses, pharmacy staff, surgical services, critical care physicians, the ER medical director, nurse representatives, blood bank, laboratory services and quality department.

Barnes said it's rare for an institution the size of Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital to attain the status, considering how much multi-disciplinary specialization is required.

“We are incredibly proud to have achieved the highest designation for our birthing center and that our work is being recognized," Barnes said. "This is a testament to the safe environment and quality care provided in Cadillac.‘

Barnes credits the hospital's achievement to a "culture" among staff "to be a leader and not settle for second best."

She added that staff are always eager to step up and contribute their talents to projects that require collaboration.

"That's something Cadillac does really well," Barnes said.

Michigan birthing hospitals are at various stages within the bundle implementation spectrum. Success of the efforts are contingent upon partnerships and collaboration of many organizations, including that of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association as well as the health care providers dedicated to improving women’s health in labor and delivery units, according to the press release.

Among the measures they've taken in Cadillac to reach Platinum status is improving the process they use to measure blood loss in pregnant woman at delivery.

Instead of estimating the amount of blood loss, which can lead to mistakes and inaccuracies, Barnes said they soak up all the blood in a sponge and measure exactly how much has been lost. When blood loss reaches certain levels, staff initiate a series of emergency interventions. From the time they started implementing these protocols about four years ago, Barnes said the number of pregnant women who reach the most severe level of blood loss has decreased significantly. 

Another measure they've taken as part of the safety bundle is setting up several fast-deploy carts with materials, equipment and other supplies for dealing with hemorrhaging incidents.

Barnes said perhaps the most important adjustment they've made is to bring in the obstetrician-gynecologist earlier in the pregnancy process. With how much a woman's body changes during every stage of the pregnancy, Barnes said the OB/GYN's expertise is vital to identifying potential issues before they become problems.

It took about three months to implement the entire Alliance package related to severe hypertension and hemorrhaging. Barnes said they soon will be starting the process of implementing the Alliance package related to minimizing infection and sepsis; she predicts it will take a similar amount of time to complete this process.

“I find it truly impressive our community hospital has received Platinum designation for our outstanding quality and safe obstetrical care,‘ said Dr. Ronald Joanette, Munson Healthcare Cadillac OB/GYN.

Munson Cadillac welcomed over 350 newborns last fiscal year.

For more information on Munson Healthcare and the Munson Healthcare Cadillac Family Birth Center visit

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