A few years ago, a Philadelphia obstetrician/gynecologist proposed
the idea of creating a laborist program – a new model of
obstetric care aimed at improving patient safety for expectant
mothers and their babies. Today, that model of care has been implemented
at Community Medical Center in Toms River, bringing maternity care
to the highest level in the region.
John R. Sutherland, MD, chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology
at Community Medical Center, said laborists are accredited, experienced
obstetricians who stay at the hospital to help deliver babies.
Their help may be needed for different reasons, he explained.
“Imagine a mom who goes into labor at 3 a.m. in the middle
of a snow storm. Perhaps her doctor can’t make it to the
hospital, but the on-duty laborist is already there. This is only
one of a thousand scenarios. Essentially, the laborists provide
an important role in making sure every patient gets immediate,
appropriate and safe care,” he said.
Community’s laborists will also provide initial evaluations
of maternity patients when they arrive at the hospital only at
the request of the patient’s physician. In emergency situations,
the laborist will provide consultation and care to any ob-gyn patient
whether she is in the Emergency Department or another area of the
There are 13 laborists at Community Medical Center, all board-certified
or board eligible ob-gyns. Laborists are certified in Basic Life
Support, Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics and Neonatal Life
Support. One of the laborists is now at the hospital 24 hours a
day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Mark D. Pilla, executive vice president of Operations for the
Saint Barnabas Health Care System and executive director of Community
Medical Center, said, “We are the first hospital in the region
to implement a laborist program. We decided to implement this program
to enhance our maternity services and raise our already exceptional
level of obstetrical care to an even higher level.”
Since 2005, Community Medical Center has received the annual 5-star
rating award for Maternity Services from HealthGrades, the nation’s
leading health care ratings organization.
Community Medical Center delivers more than 1,800 babies annually.
The maternity unit offers private rooms, as well as anesthesiologists
and neonatologists on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Dr. Sutherland said he expects the laborist program to improve
the level of care already provided at the hospital. “Because
we are on-site at all times, the response time for obstetric and
gynecologic emergencies will be immediate as the laborist will
be able to manage the patient from the moment they arrive until
which time the patient’s own physician is ready to assume
responsibility for the care of the patient.”
He added, “This is an added level of comfort and safety
for our expectant moms. Knowing that no matter the day or time
you arrive at Community Medical Center you will be able to see
an ob-gyn should be very reassuring to our patients and their families.”
For more information on maternity services at Community Medical
Center, or to find an ob-gyn affiliated with the hospital, call
1-888-724-7123 or visit www.barnabashealth.org.
Date: January 18, 2010
[ top ]