January 24, 2020

With a shortage of obstetricians at rural hospitals, the answer may be: Call the midwife

By Karl W Oestreich

Star Tribune
by Jeremy Olson

Midwives could save rural hospitals struggling with the challenge of being prepared 24/7 to deliver babies, a new Mayo Clinic study found. Mayo’s hospital in La Crosse, Wis., reported fewer surgical deliveries and birth complications requiring neonatal intensive care under a system in which seven certified nurse midwives provided round-the-clock staffing and coordinated with obstetricians on prenatal care for expecting mothers and their baby deliveries. The benefits of using CNMs as hospital laborists “could be because someone was readily in-house at all times” to prevent or identify birth complications, said Theresa Hagen, a La Crosse hospital CNM.

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Additional coverage: MD Magazine, WKBT La Crosse,  La Crosse Tribune, Mankato Free Press

Previous coverage: Mayo in La Crosse uses certified nurse-midwives to assist in OB shortage

Context: Fewer physicians are pursuing careers in obstetrics, in part because of the intense, round-the-clock demands of the job and a high burnout rate. An unusually large number of practicing obstetricians are expected to retire within the next decade, which will add to an already acute physician shortage.

One solution to this staffing challenge is a collaborative care model used at Mayo Clinic Health System ― Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, where certified nurse-midwives lead the care team. Certified nurse-midwives provide care for obstetric patients who are at low to moderate risk as part of a team model described in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes.

You can read more about the model on Mayo Clinic News Network.

Contact: Rick Thiesse

Tags: Mayo Clinic Health System, midwifes, Star Tribune, Uncategorized

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