New NCH partnership to improve OB/GYN care, shorten wait times

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Joey Pellegrino
A pregnant woman getting an MRI scan at NCH. Credit: WINK News

NCH is beginning a new partnership with the OB Hospitalist Group on Wednesday to shorten wait times for OB/GYN patients and let them receive care closer to home.

OB hospitalists will be around to offer 24/7support for local OB/GYNs, which NCH says should improve outcomes and increase patient satisfaction compared to traditional triage models. In-house obstetricians will be present in an OB emergency room to evaluate patients as soon as they come in to ensure timely deliveries without waiting for outside doctors to arrive. NCH is also working towards becoming a level three NICU, requiring these obstetricians to be there 24/7.

Doctors tell WINK News that this will bring NCH far into the future in terms of the care it can provide for women and their babies.

“It’s exciting because, like you said, I’m delivering people I delivered 20-plus years ago, and I knew and remember the problems, maybe, that their mothers had,” said Dr. Thomas Backett, chairman of NCH’s OB/GYN department. “And now I know that if the same situation arises, that we can address it quickly.”

Despite removing the need for doctors to arrive from elsewhere for expectant mothers, the program does not take the patients from their physicians. Instead, it helps to ensure that patients will get the assistance they need from an OB/GYN immediately, whatever the time of day. The hospital has also seen increased substance abuse, meaning someone will always be around to provide prenatal care for the mothers who need it. Overall, it will substantially increase the health resources available for women in Collier County and their babies without them having to go very far.

“It’s to provide the best quality and the highest quality of care, closer to home,” said Paula DiGrigoli, administrative director of women and children services at NCH. “To all moms and children in Collier County, regardless if they have a doctor or not… if they are able to pay or not.”

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.