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CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital Awarded LaPQC Louisiana Birth Ready Designation October 6, 2021

Lake Charles, Louisiana –CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital recently received the Louisiana Birth Ready Designation from the Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (LaPQC). CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area is the only hospital in Calcasieu Parish to receive the designation and one of the 16 Louisiana hospitals to be recognized.

The Designation recognizes partnering facilities’ hard work, continued improvement, and implementation of best practices through an evaluation process by the LaPQC. It also celebrates improved perinatal health outcomes, the result of implementing clinical practices that promote safe, equitable, and dignified birth for all birthing persons in Louisiana.

“This is such an exciting designation! It recognizes that CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital is dedicated to providing high quality obstetrical care and a safe birth experience for patients in our community,” said Jo Teague, Clinical Director of Labor and Delivery, CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital.

Hospitals receiving Birth Ready Designation undergo a rigorous application and review process by the LaPQC. To achieve a Birth Ready Designation, CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital had to meet five areas of requirement: participation in collaborative learning; health disparity and patient partnership; policies and procedures; structures and education; and outcome and process measures.

“Disparities in birth outcomes experienced by mothers in Louisiana are unfortunately well documented, but through the LaPQC the Louisiana Department of Health is working to change that narrative,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips. “I’d like to congratulate the birthing facilities that have achieved these new designations, rising to meet the challenge of improving birthing outcomes and ensuring everyone has equitable opportunity to have a safe and dignified birth.”

The work of the LaPQC, an initiative of the Department’s Bureau of Family Health, is dedicated to improving perinatal and neonatal outcomes across Louisiana. Birth outcomes in Louisiana have historically been among the worst in the nation: Between 2011 and 2016, about half of all deaths that were associated with a recent birth were preventable. The LaPQC was created to promote the implementation of evidence-based practices to reduce significant factors that contribute to poor birth outcomes. The Collaborative also focuses on promoting health equity and reducing racial and ethnic disparities.

“I am so proud of the work birth facilities are doing to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality in Louisiana, as well as address disparities. In partnering with the LaPQC, we have seen a 35% reduction in adverse outcomes from hemorrhage; 49% in Black individuals and a 12% reduction in adverse outcomes from hypertension,” said Dr. Veronica Gillispie-Bell, Medical Director of the LaPQC. “While all of our hospitals are making efforts to implement changes to improve outcomes, this designation recognizes those hospitals who have gone above and beyond to contribute to the improvement we are seeing for our mothers and families in Louisiana.”

Many of the hospitals awarded designation have been working for years with the LaPQC, implementing evidence-based best practices that address common causes of maternal mortality and morbidity related to hemorrhage and hypertension, as well as practices that promote vaginal birth.

“We are proud to partner with the LaPQC and implement evidenced based research and practices to give the very best care for our mothers and babies,” said Teague.