Palmetto Health Hospitals Receive Blue Distinction Center Designations

Posted on 3/1/2016

Newest designation is for maternity care; bariatric and spine surgery, cardiac care and knee and hip replacement also are designated.

Palmetto Health hospitals including Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Richland and Palmetto Health Tuomey have been designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care by BlueCross® Blue Shield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice® Health Plan of South Carolina.

This new Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community. Compared with babies born 39 weeks or later, early term infants face higher risks of infant death and respiratory ailments such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia and respiratory failure, among other conditions. These babies also have a higher rate of admission to Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

Hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated programs to promote successful breast-feeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA or the Mother-Friendly Hospital program by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) through its “Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.” The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others.

The national Blue Distinction® Specialty Care program recognized hospitals for delivering quality, affordable specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community. Palmetto Health hospitals also received the following Blue Distinction Centers designations:

Palmetto Health Baptist:

  • Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care
  • Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery

Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge:

  • Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery

Palmetto Health Richland:

  • Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care
  • Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery
  • Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care
  • Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement

Palmetto Health Tuomey:

  • Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care

“Research shows that compared to other facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated health care facilities. We congratulate these hospitals for meeting rigorous criteria and we continue to commit this and other quality-oriented efforts to help our members better manage their health,” said BlueCross vice president and Chief Medical Officer Shawn Stinson, M.D.

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