Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center First Hospital in Nation to Receive Advanced Certification in Perinatal Care   

Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center First Hospital in Nation to Receive Advanced Certification in Perinatal Care

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive health network, is proud to announce it's academic flagship hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center, has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification in Perinatal Care (ACPC) by demonstrating exceptional standards and outcomes in the care of infants and mothers. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

“Hackensack Meridian Health is committed to delivering high-quality perinatal care and eliminating maternal health disparities in New Jersey and beyond,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “This distinction from the Joint Commission for exemplary perinatal care is a testament to the top-notch team members, physicians and leadership at Hackensack University Medical Center and our ongoing collaboration with First Lady Tammy Murphy’s statewide awareness campaign, Nurture NJ, which is committed to making New Jersey the safest and most equitable place in the nation to give birth and raise a baby.”

At Hackensack University Medical Center, there were no maternal deaths in 2022.  The C-section rate continues to decline across Hackensack Meridian Health network.  Healthcare professionals at Hackensack Meridian Health are committed to the  work of addressing  racial and ethnic disparities by using data-driven strategies and focusing on improving cultural competency and reducing inherent bias.

“I am thrilled to see Hackensack University Medical Center recognized with the prestigious Gold Seal of Approval for their outstanding and groundbreaking work in perinatal care,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “Hackensack Meridian has been a steadfast partner to Nurture NJ in our shared mission to transform New Jersey’s maternal health landscape; now their work is not only leading the way for our state, but earning national acknowledgement as well. Working together, we are on our way to making New Jersey the gold standard of maternal care and the safest and most equitable state in the nation to deliver and raise a baby.”

The certification recognizes Hackensack University Medical Center’s efforts to achieve integrated, coordinated, and patient-centered prenatal through postpartum care, including both complicated and uncomplicated pregnancies. The certification uses standards, guidelines and The Joint Commission’s perinatal care measure set for managing and monitoring aspects of perinatal care that are critical to improving and maintaining the health of newborns and their mothers.

Hackensack University Medical Center underwent a rigorous, onsite review on January 23, 2023. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

“Hackensack University Medical Center is honored to earn this first-of-its-kind certification in perinatal care,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive of Hackensack University Medical Center and president, North Region at Hackensack Meridian Health. “I am proud of our world-class team for exceeding standards when it comes to providing care for mothers and families. We will continue to lead the nation in excellence and are committed to continuing to improve maternal health outcomes for all.”

“Advanced Certification in Perinatal Care recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” says Deborah Ryan, MS, RN, interim executive vice president, Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “We commend Hackensack University Medical Center for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for newborns and their mothers.”

The teams at the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital were found to execute a multidisciplinary approach and patient-centered plan of care that aligns with the growing need for quality, compassionate obstetric care addressed with the ACPC. According to the Joint Commission, the top three reasons Hackensack University Medical Center achieved this certification are:

  • Improved efficiencies and outcomes
  • Reduced unwanted variations in care and improve the patient experience
  • Aligned communication and collaboration among all disciplines

Hackensack Meridian Health continues to set the standard for excellence in maternal health in the communities it serves.

“No other part of our health care system has a greater effect on the health of our communities than maternity care,”said Manuel Alvarez, M.D., chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hackensack University Medical Center and Northern Regional chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology for Hackensack Meridian Health. “With this Advanced Certification, Hackensack University Medical Center has set the bar for appropriate obstetric care in the country, helping to ensure there is a multidisciplinary approach taken when developing a patient-centered plan of care utilizing evidence-based assessment tools.”

“Maternity care is deeply personal and every patient deserves specialized care best-suited for their needs,” said Abdulla Al-Khan, M.D., vice chairman and director of maternal-fetal medicine & surgery and The Center for Abnormal Placentation at Hackensack University Medical Center. “Meeting the aptly-set standards to ensure safe pregnancy and delivery is the primary goal of our teams. It is a privilege to serve our communities and continue providing accessible care that develops confidence with expecting and current mothers.”  On an important note, “this award would have not been possible without the dedication of the entire obstetrical team, especially  Jennifer Kopelman, MSN, RNC-OB, C-ONQS, NEA-BC, C-IAP, Nurse Manager of Labor and Delivery at Hackensack University Medical Center and Elizabeth, Polanco, MSN, RN, C-ONQS, administrative director of Nursing for Hackensack Meridian Health and all of the members from the regulatory department, who led the work that was done so this certification could be earned.  My gratitude to all of them,” stated Dr Al-Khan.

Watch today’s announcement and First Lady Tammy Murphy’s address here. Read more about the ACPC and Joint Commission here.

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