Rural Birth Protocol Review

Interior Health is launching a review of protocols for childbirth transfers in all of its rural hospitals. The review, which will be done by the BC Reproductive Care Program with support from BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, follows the roadside birth of a baby from Princeton late in December, 2005. An initial review of the December birth suggested that a standardized procedure might prevent this type of situation from recurring. The review will begin in late January.

“Interior Health is committed to improving the excellence of our service delivery wherever we can. Currently, IH is in an ongoing process of standardizing procedures in all our hospitals for many critical medical events,” says Murray Ramsden, CEO of Interior Health,” Standardizing procedures further refines a health system that builds on the strengths of each hospital in Interior Health.”

5,548 newborns are born in Interior Health hospitals annually.

Interior Health says that the maternity referral process has been in place for several years, but it is now refining the transfer of mothers and babies to the nearest regional hospital. The Review of Rural Childbirth Protocols will build on the maternity system, auditing current practices, focusing upon our smaller rural hospitals and looking critically at whether current services match the established and expected standards for rural maternity care. Interior Health says its goal is to create a standard protocol using the best practices outlined in the BC Reproductive Care Program guidelines.

The review will begin at the end of January and is expected to be presented with recommendations to the IH Board Quality Care Committee when it is complete.

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