EMPower Hospital Spotlight: Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health
Abington, Pennsylvania is one of the oldest communities in Montgomery County, dating back before 1700. This area is home to the county’s oldest transportation routes, industries and churches, as well as a few of Montgomery County’s largest employers, including Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health. Today, Abington Township is a desirable residential area situated 13 miles outside of Philadelphia, PA. With a population over 55,000, Abington Township is the second largest township in Montgomery County.
Abington Hospital is a part of Abington-Jefferson Health, which also includes Abington – Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township, two urgent care centers, and five convenient outpatient facilities, serving patients from Montgomery, Bucks, and Philadelphia counties. Founded in 1914, Abington Hospital is the largest community teaching hospital in Montgomery or Bucks counties. The hospital sponsors five residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, general surgery, and dentistry. As a regional leader in caring for women’s health, Abington Hospital offers women a range of gynecology and maternity services.
The hospital is equipped with a Level 3 NICU and 10 bed antepartum unit with 24/7 Maternal/Fetal Medicine coverage. Abington Hospital maternity care services deliver more than 5,000 births annually. A quarter of the 5,000 babies delivered are born to mothers who obtained their prenatal care at the OB/GYN Center, a clinic for underinsured and uninsured women in the area. Abington Hospital also has a Newborn Center that provides care to uninsured newborns up to 3 months of age.
Abington Hospital is committed to implementing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and working toward Baby-Friendly designation. This team joined the EMPower Breastfeeding initiative to gain quality improvement support and individualized counseling to help improve maternity care practices. Since joining the EMPower initiative, Abington Hospital has created an engaged interdisciplinary Baby-Friendly Committee to work toward their goal of Baby-Friendly designation. In addition to the nursing staff, four full time lactation consultants, including one night lactation consultant, serve on the committee. As part of the EMPower initiative, Abington Hospital aims to improve existing or design new work processes to support women with breastfeeding and ultimately hopes to increase the number of women who are exclusively breastfeeding their infants when they are discharged from the hospital. With the guidance of the EMPower quality improvement coaching, Abington Hospital has been working diligently to put data collection systems in place to track their progress, and they have been testing a variety of changes related to skin-to-skin using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles in the Labor and Delivery department. Their recent focus is on improving their rooming in rates. Their coaches include Gigi Lawless, the facility’s Breastfeeding Coach, as well as Sue Butts-Dion, the Quality Improvement Coach. Gigi shared, “Abington has been incredible to work with. They have engaged with the coaching dyad to ensure they are optimizing resources and moving forward. They actively participate in collaborative activities and are on a great pathway to achieving Baby-Friendly Designation.”