Ogdensburg's Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center hoping improvements will cut early elective baby deliveries
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 11:47 am

OGDENSBURG -- Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is working to reduce early elective baby deliveries through quality improvement programs.

A recent study published in “Obstetrics and Gynecology” found that multistate, hospital-based quality improvement programs can be effective at reducing early elective deliveries.

The rate of elective early term deliveries in the 25 hospitals covered by the study fell from 27.8 percent to 4.8 percent during the one-year project period, an 83 percent decline.

“Our goal was to reduce our rate of 24.7 percent of early elective deliveries by 50 percent. Remarkably, we were able to get our rate reduced to less than one percent,” said Letti Deloney, obstetrics nurse manager at Claxton-Hepburn.

“Reducing unnecessary early deliveries to less than one percent at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center means that more babies stayed in the womb longer, which is so important for their growth and development,” said Andrew Ogden, chief of obstetrics at Claxton-Hepburn.

The final weeks of pregnancy are crucial to a baby’s health because many vital organs, including the brain and lungs, are still developing, according to medical center staffers.

Claxton-Hepburn is one of the first hospitals to participate in a collaboration of perinatal quality improvement advocates with state health departments, academic health centers, and March of Dimes chapters.