Springfield Regional Medical Center to allow expectant mothers to skip ER

Mercy Health — Springfield Regional Medical Center will allow people preparing to give birth to skip the emergency room and go straight to the Labor and Delivery department.

The hospital network said in a press release that this is part of its efforts to improve emergency care for pregnant patients.

Previously, patients under 20 weeks of gestation would be seen in the emergency department, according to a Mercy Health press release. As of July 11, all obstetrical patients with a pregnancy-related complaint will be seen by specialists on the hospital’s Family Birthing Center team.

“The goal is to expedite their care and get them the specific care they need, with the hope that this will not only improve their continuity of care but also their overall experience,” said Nicole Conley, the Birthing Center Nurse Manager.

The change came about during the height of the pandemic when local emergency rooms were overrun with patients, Conley said.

“We don’t see the volumes that the emergency department does, so we can see these patients right away,” she said. “Because we specialize in expectant mothers, we may also be more sensitive to their specific needs.”

Mercy Health — Springfield Regional Medical Center’s Family Birthing Center has a provider on site 24/7 now, thanks to the addition of a midwifery program in Spring of 2022. Before, the hospital would call physicians remotely, but now a midwife is on site everyday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“They’ve been an amazing addition that’s really helped our workflow, giving us another set of eyes to evaluate patient and baby and ensuring we don’t have to delay care,” Conley said.

Mercy Health – Springfield’s Maternal Fetal Medicine program also launched in spring. The program brings in providers from Ohio State University once a month to allow people with high-risk pregnancies to receive the care they need close to home, according to the release.

Springfield Regional Medical Center delivered more than 1,000 babies last year, the hospital network said.

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