TEMPLE, Texas – Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple has been designated as a Level IV maternal care center, the top designation from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The Level IV designation is awarded to hospitals that provide the highest possible comprehensive care and underscores the facility's ability to treat even the most complex cases that present a high risk of maternal morbidity or mortality.
"It's a tremendous honor to take care of mothers as they bring new life into the world," said G. Wright Bates, M.D., chair for Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. "Our professionals work tirelessly to provide the best individualized care to the mothers and babies of Texas. The highest designation awarded to our units by the State is a well-deserved acknowledgement of the outstanding staff, nurses, physicians and facilities."
With this designation, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple becomes the only hospital in Bell County to earn designations for both Level IV maternity care and Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) care.
"I am truly so proud of the level of care that our maternal and neonatal departments provide to the patients and families of Central Texas," said Kayla Skala, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, director of nursing for Labor & Delivery at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Temple. "Designation requires each team to hardwire best practices into daily care and consistently evaluate outcomes through a quality assurance and process improvement program. Not only do we evaluate the care we provide, but we also conduct outreach to other facilities in surrounding areas to help improve practices for the benefit of patients across the community."
The Baylor Scott & White McLane Children's NICU at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple is designated as a Level IV NICU by the Texas DSHS, making it the only Level IV NICU in the Baylor Scott & White Health system and ranking it among the highest designated facilities across the nation. The 51-bed unit cares for 800-1000 patients annually, including babies from Waco, Austin, Brenham, College Station, Round Rock, Hillsboro, Marble Falls and surrounding areas who arrive via dedicated pediatric transport from other facilities. As a Level IV NICU, the unit incorporates a full range of pediatric subspecialists and a surgical team that is on-site and available at all times for consultation, care and emergency intervention to address babies' complex conditions and on-going medical needs.
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple, the second-largest facility in the Baylor Scott & White Health system, joins Baylor University Medical Center Dallas and Baylor All Saints Medical Center - Fort Worth on the list of Texas hospitals with the highest level of designation for maternal care in the state.
To earn Level IV maternal care designation, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Temple demonstrated its expertise in:
- Comprehensive care – The facility is recognized for providing comprehensive care for pregnant and postpartum patients and their babies:
- A cadre of medical and maternal subspecialists, surgical specialists and behavioral health specialists are available for round-the-clock support.
- A maternal medical director and maternal fetal medicine critical care team are available to manage highly complex patient needs.
- The facility has the team and resources to perform major surgery.
- An intensive care unit with critical care capabilities is available for maternal patients.
- Certified nurse midwives, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners provide care for maternal patients.
- Perinatal education is provided to staff continuously in preparation for high-risk events and emergencies.
- A certified lactation consultant always is available.
- Perinatal outreach – Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Temple has a dedicated team to provide services and training on safe delivery practices to hospitals and birthing centers throughout the region.
- Thought leadership – A symbiotic relationship with physicians and nurses has been established that encourages sharing best practices and innovation for the full spectrum of birthing plans both within and out of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Temple.
- Transportation – Safe and efficient ground and flight transportation is available for mother and baby from other hospitals during high-risk birthing situations.
- Continued education – The medical center offers technologically advanced simulation drills and practices to prepare medical staff for all birthing conditions, helping to lower poor maternal outcomes.
Maternal Levels of Care Designation is a requirement of House Bill 15, which went into effect on March 1, 2018. The program was designed to create best-in- practice standards for women and children's services programs in Texas to improve maternal outcomes. The state's designation provides expectant mothers with the background of a hospital's care to make informed decisions during pregnancy about their birthing hospital.
The Level IV maternal care designation was awarded to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Temple after a rigorous two-day onsite survey in late 2020 of medical staff and facilities throughout the building that provide perinatal services, and a review of hospital policies.
"These programs are a result of our dedication to families in our community," said Stephen Sibbitt, M.D., chief medical officer of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple. "Support of the medical community has been essential as we have grown these programs. Sharing resources, training and best practices with other committed professionals is something we have the honor of doing as a leader for care in our community."
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About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: BSWHealth.com