Lake Norman Regional Medical Center One of North Carolina Hospitals Successfully Reducing Early Elective Deliveries

Mooresville, NC (May 16, 2014) – The NC Quality Center, an affiliate of the North Carolina Hospital Association, has announced that a statewide effort to educate mothers and care providers of the dangers of early elective deliveries has reduced North Carolina’s rate from 4 percent of births to just 1 percent.

“Not delivering a baby before 39 weeks unless there are medical or obstetrical complications is one of the most certain ways of helping babies get a good start in life.” said Dr. Carol Koeble, executive director of the NC Quality Center. “The NC39weeks campaign has given physicians, mothers and families across the state a better understanding of the potential harms that can result from unnecessarily delivering a baby too early.”

An early elective delivery, often through induction or cesarean section, can lead to complications for the baby, resulting in admissions to neonatal intensive care units, increased length of stay, and higher costs for patients and payers. While our state’s rate was already below the national average because of the work of the Perinatal Quality Collaborative of North Carolina, Dr. Koeble noted that the additional gains will lead to a generation of healthier mothers and babies.

North Carolina hospitals have taken an active role in the effort by educating patients about the risks to the baby so they don’t request an early delivery, and by implementing a “hard stop” policy that prohibits an early delivery unless there are appropriate clinical indications. All North Carolina hospitals providing obstetrical services voluntarily signed a pledge in 2012 to adopt a hard stop policy. The pledge was a patient safety goal adopted by the NC Hospital Association Board of Trustees.

“North Carolina’s hospitals are committed to finding solutions that improve population health, enhance quality of care and reduce costs,” said Bill Pully, president of the NC Hospital Association. “This initiative to reduce early elective deliveries achieves all three aims to create a healthier tomorrow for our state.”

The NC Quality Center, in partnership with the March of Dimes, Patient Safety and the Perinatal Quality Collaborative of North Carolina, along with numerous media partners, launched a public awareness campaign in 2012 to educate moms, families and healthcare providers on the importance of waiting at least 39 weeks to deliver.

Lake Norman Regional Medical Center was one of North Carolina’s hospitals identified as having an EED rate at or below 1% for the entire year of 2013 calendar year, and submitted data every quarter to NCHA, thereby meeting the NCHA goal.

NC Quality Center

The North Carolina Hospital Association created the North Carolina Quality Center in 2004 to lead the state’s hospitals to become the safest and highest quality hospitals in the United States. Since its inception, the North Carolina Quality Center has engaged and supported almost every hospital in the state. As a solutions network, the North Carolina Quality Center is a respected leader in the nation with invitations to participate and present to audiences across the country. To lead the state’s hospitals on their journey to improve quality and patient safety, the North Carolina Quality Center provides educational, collaborative and performance measurement programs and services.

NC Hospital Association

NCHA is a trade association representing more than 130 hospitals providing acute care, rehabilitative, behavioral, psychiatric and veterans’ services. The association promotes improved delivery of quality and affordable health care in North Carolina through leadership, advocacy, information, and education in its members' interest and for public benefit.

About Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

Lake Norman Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive medical care to individuals throughout the greater Lake Norman region. Located just off I-77 at Exit 33, the Mooresville medical campus offers complete specialty services from 24-hour emergency medicine and maternity to oncology and advanced surgical services.