EMPower Hospital Spotlight: University Medical Center – Lubbock, TX
Located in the northwestern region of Texas called the South Plains, Lubbock is fondly known as “Hub City” due to its intersection by five major highways. The accessibility of the city has contributed to its development as a center of bustling economic, cultural, educational, and healthcare opportunities. As the 11th largest city in Texas, Lubbock has a population of over 321,000 that is continuing to grow; Hispanics or Latinos represent about 17% of the population, while non-Hispanic Whites account for about 62%. The city’s deep agricultural roots are exemplified by a historical cotton industry that continues to thrive; farmers are currently producing two to three million bales of cotton every year! In addition, Lubbock is home to a rich arts and culture scene that has yielded musical legends such as Buddy Holly and Waylon Jennings. Texas Tech University also attracts thousands of scholars and visitors every year, energizing the city through spirited sporting events and research discoveries. Through a partnership with Texas Tech University, University Medical Center (UMC) contributes to the groundbreaking research and innovative technology, which includes a number of nationally recognized clinical trials in breast and prostate cancers.
University Medical Center is not only a pioneer in the research field, but also a leader in comprehensive healthcare delivery in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. UMC is one of only two hospitals in Texas with both a Level 1 Trauma Center and a Regional Burn Center. The UMC Health System is comprised of a main campus and 23 regional health centers operated by UMC Physician Network Services, and together, more than 400,000 patients a year have come to expect UMC’s dedication to service. As a national leader in patient satisfaction, UMC is ranked among the top 10 percent in the nation by HealthGrades and is a winner of the Press Ganey Beacon of Excellence Award.
As a facility that serves many clients with diverse needs, UMC plays an important part in improving the health of the community, especially mothers and infants. As an example of their extensive role in providing maternal-child care, UMC performed 3141 deliveries in 2015, which accounted for 56% of the new births in Lubbock. Furthermore, UMC has maintained a cesarean section rate of <20%, which is well below the national average. UMC caters to their patients, and their commitment to care can be further illustrated through their unwavering journey to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and achieve Baby-Friendly Designation.
In 2012, UMC embarked on Baby-Friendly’s 4-D Pathway to advance the level of care provided to breastfeeding mothers and their babies, and their Family Birth Center and Family Care Unit began to follow the Family Centered Maternity Care model and the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in order to educate and support patients. While UMC persisted in their efforts to enhance maternity care, they remained in the D3 Dissemination Phase of Baby-Friendly’s 4-D Pathway for longer than expected. In 2015, UMC learned about the EMPower initiative through their collaboration with the Texas 10 Step Star Achiever program and felt that participating in EMPower would lead to mutual benefits. After applying and becoming accepted into the EMPower initiative, the EMPower coaching dyad of Julia Bourg and Jill Winkler began to mentor the facility on breastfeeding and quality improvement procedures. As the facility moved into the D4 Designation phase and prepared for their assessment visit by Baby-Friendly USA, Julia and Jill conducted a coach visit to UMC to provide additional feedback to the hospital team. According to the UMC team, “the fresh eyes and outside perspective of our facility from Julia and Jill were invaluable in our preparatory efforts!”
UMC’s dedication to providing an optimal level of care to mothers and babies was recently recognized by Baby-Friendly USA – as of March 2016, University Medical Center has become a Baby-Friendly designated facility. Julia, the facility’s EMPower Breastfeeding Coach, reflected on her impression of UMC’s journey: “Their data driven, methodical approach to Ten Step implementation was evident when we visited. This team was a lot of fun, very persistent, and extremely well organized which contributed greatly to their success!” UMC is now the 16th designated facility in Texas and the 1st in the West Texas Panhandle.
As a newly designated facility, UMC’s focus has shifted to quality improvement. They are open to sharing all of their resources and tools with hospitals in the EMPower initiative and hope to gain new knowledge and ideas to further enhance their care delivery at UMC. In addition, UMC is serving as a mentor for other EMPower facilities, and they have shared the following: “Just keep striving! […] After implementing a process improvement plan and strengthening our prenatal education, we were able to achieve our designation! We encourage other facilities to COLLECT DATA and improve processes based on your results. The data speaks for itself, and really drives the improvement!”
Congratulations, University Medical Center! We are amazed by your dedication to mothers and infants and look forward to more remarkable contributions from your facility.