O’Fallon, IL – HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital recently received recognition by the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative (ILPQC) for exceeding their ‘time to treatment’ goal for pregnant and postpartum women with severe maternal hypertension. A minimum goal of 80% was established by ILPQC to recognize and appropriately treat women presenting to the OB unit with severe hypertension. 

According to the ILPQC, severe maternal hypertension occurs with systolic blood pressure above 160 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure above 110 mm Hg.  These disorders have been reported in as many as 10% of all births.  Hypertensive disorders are a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality, with the primary source of maternal deaths being hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic strokes usually occur as a secondary result of untreated severe maternal hypertension and, most of the factors identified in many of the cases of death (or even near misses) have proven to be preventable.

ILPQC’s Severe Maternal Hypertension quality improvement initiative was developed in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health.  Participating hospital teams, including the staff at St. Elizabeth’s, tackle improving quality of care for women with severe hypertension in both the pregnancy and postpartum periods of childbirth.  They track compliance for the women across time to treatment, use of magnesium sulfate, and timely follow ups through the post-delivery and postpartum periods, with education of the disorders at time of discharge.   

“Through our work at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and the ongoing collaboration throughout the state to address this important patient safety issue, we are able to provide improved outcomes for moms and babies who deliver with us,” said Deb Meidel, RN, Nurse Manager of the Women and Infants Center at St. Elizabeth’s.  “I’m proud of our colleagues who continuously follow evidence-based practices for the safety of our patients.”

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital received recognition from the ILPQC previously, when it had met the birth certificate accuracy guidelines of 95% via the Birth Certificate Accuracy Initiative in 2015, and was designated a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care in 2018 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for expertise in patient safety and better health outcomes.

For more information about St. Elizabeth’s Women and Infant’s Center, call 618-234-2120, or visit https://www.steliz.org/Medical-Services/Women-Infants-Center.

Media Contact

Kelly Barbeau

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 41270

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