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Women & Infants Named Neonatal Center of Excellence

Friday, February 25, 2011


Happy, healthy babies.

For the fifth consecutive year, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island has been named a Center of Excellence for Neonatal Care by the Clinical Sciences Institute of OptumHealth, an independent audit company. 

“The care that we provide not only to full-term newborns, but also to the tiniest, frailest infants, is extraordinary, and we are so proud to have that level of care acknowledged,” said James F. Padbury, MD, pediatrician-in-chief at Women & Infants, and the Oh-Zopfi Professor of Pediatrics for Perinatal Research at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.  “Being named a Center of Excellence for Neonatal Care gives the general and the health care community the reassurance of the high quality, compassionate care that is provided each and every day here at Women & Infants Hospital.”

Nearly 9,000 babies a year

As the birthing place to nearly 9,000 babies each year, Women & Infants cares for newborns from the edges of viability to full-term newborns, in the hospital and after discharge. Babies born at Women & Infants represent 73% of those born in Rhode Island each year, as well as many from southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut.

In 2009, Women & Infants opened the nation’s largest single-family room neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to provide the best possible care in the best possible environment for critically ill newborns.

"From 'survival' to 'quality of life.'"

“The single-family room NICU expands the field of neonatology from ‘survival’ to ‘quality of life,’” said Dr. Padbury. “Women & Infants’ new NICU is a developmentally sensitive unit that promises to enhance infant growth and development by allowing us to adjust the noise, light, temperature and medical interventions in each room based on each patient’s need.  We believe that controlling the environment will decrease dependence on respiratory support, decrease the incidence of complications, improve weight gain, shorten the hospital stay, and improve the infant’s developmental outcome. Moreover, we anticipate the greatest impact on the smallest, most fragile infants.”

Centers of Excellence

OptumHealth has been identifying health care providers experienced in treating costly, complex and catastrophic medical conditions for more than 20 years. Each year, they conduct a rigorous evaluation process of medical centers across the country, inviting only the most experienced and statistically successful health care providers to be part of the Centers of Excellence networks.

Each medical center is evaluated annually.  General measures include:

    * Volumes and outcomes of procedures
    * Demonstration of best-practice medicine
    * Program team and team stability
    * Quality of relationships with referring physicians and payers
    * Clinical research and results
    * Program depth and breadth
    * Treatment planning and coordination
    * Quality of patient/family-oriented services
    * Proof of a multidisciplinary approach to health care


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