On average, 65 babies are born each month at CHI St. Alexius in Williston; and with good reason, too. CHI St. Alexius Health Williston has been designated a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program by Wellmark Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®.
CHI St. Alexius Health was one of the first hospitals to receive the Blue Distinction® Center+ designation for Maternity Care and has since been consecutively recognized. Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care are hospitals recognized for delivering quality, affordable specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must also meet requirements for cost efficiency. Thanks to this focus on quality and affordability, 790 babies were born in Williston in 2017.
Almost four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community. Compared with babies born 39 weeks or later, early term infants face higher risks of infant death and respiratory ailments such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and respiratory failure, among other conditions. These babies also have a higher rate of admission to Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
In addition, hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated programs to promote successful breastfeeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA or the Mother-Friendly Hospital program by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) through its “Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.” The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others.
“CHI St. Alexius Health Williston is committed to providing the highest quality care for both mother and baby. We are honored to once again be recognized as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care,” said Leona Lambert, Director-Maternal Child.