Hospital OB Department Receives Award

March 11, 2019

The Southern Tennessee Regional Health System Pulaski Obstetrical Department has been recognized with the “Best for Babies” award from the Tennessee Hospital Association and Tennessee Department of Health. This award celebrates the hospital’s efforts to reduce infant deaths and give babies and their families the best possible start.

“For the last few years, the quality of our OB services have been a best kept secret”, said hospital CEO, Jim Edmondson.  “We have quietly endeavored to improve our quality such that today, STRHS-Pulaski is the quality leader in the region for OB services.  The Best for Babies recognition gives us the validation in the public long overdue.”

The BEST award stands for breastfeeding, early elective delivery reduction and safe sleep for Tennessee babies. Hospitals must meet the following criteria to receive the award: 

  • Breastfeeding – an increase of five percent in newborn breastfeeding initiation rates from 2015 to 2016, or a minimum breastfeeding initiation rate of 90 percent in 2016

  • Early elective delivery – hospitals should have early elective delivery rates at or lower than five percent for 2016

  • Safe sleep – hospitals must have received Cribs for Kids® national safe sleep certification at a minimum of bronze level, submitted the TDH annual safe sleep hospital policy report for 2016 and demonstrate a minimum of 90 percent of cribs as safe in crib audits in the 2016 report 

    “The criteria for the BEST recognition are challenging but not impossible,” said Tennessee Hospital Association Quality Improvement Specialist Jackie Moreland, RN, BSN, MS. “We encourage all birthing hospitals to continue to meet the BEST criteria.” 

    TDH partnerships with birthing hospitals are an important factor in the success of improving benchmarks for infant health. Breastfeeding rates in Tennessee have increased from 67 percent of infants in 2010 to nearly 80 percent in 2016. Babies are not fully developed until they reach at least 39 weeks of pregnancy. Thanks to the efforts of clinicians and hospitals, rates of babies electively delivered before 39 weeks have plummeted from more than 13 percent of Tennessee births in 2012 to consistently less than two percent through 2016. 

    The OB Department was also recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Gold Certified Safe Sleep Champion,” for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. They are one of the first hospitals in Tennessee to receive the title.Learn more about the BEST for Babies Award at www.tn.gov/assets/entities/health/attachments/BEST_for_Babies_Award_applicaton__updated.pdf.