O’Connor Hospital has received full approval from California Children’s Services (CCS) as a Level III Community Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The approval by CCS in late October demonstrates that O’Connor Hospital has met all the CCS standards and requirements to take care of very premature infants in its Level III NICU.
“This approval by CCS recognizes the excellent care we provide to the most fragile infants,” said James F. Dover, FACHE, O’Connor Hospital President and CEO. “This designation as a Level III Community NICU allows us to take care of these premature infants rather than transfer them to another hospital, allowing for continuity of care and peace of mind for the parents and family.”
“We are able to routinely care for high-risk mothers and premature infants as small as 27 weeks gestation and earlier gestations on a case-by-case basis,” said Diana Doner, RN, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at O’Connor Hospital. “We have a multidisciplinary team in place to provide the best care for both premature and sick infants.”
Previously, O’Connor Hospital was CCS-approved as a Level III Intermediate NICU. To receive the higher-level status, O’Connor Hospital needed to be approved as a Pediatric Community Hospital as well. CCS conducted a site review of both the NICU and pediatrics units in order to grant community approval status. CCS levels for NICUs are intermediate, community and regional.
Some requirements for CCS Level III Community NICU full status include: the capability to provide a full range of intensive, intermediate and continuing care for severely ill neonates and infants; CCS-paneled physicians with experience in NICU and pediatrics and advanced education, training or experience; onsite medical social workers, clinical registered dietitians, and physical and occupational therapists; participation in the California newborn hearing screening program; and coordination of a discharge plan between the NICU multidisciplinary team, CCS, other agencies and the infant’s parents or caretaker.
“As a Level III Community NICU, we will provide regular patient updates and conduct weekly conference calls with CCS. For pediatric patients, clinical information also will be provided to CCS,” Doner added.
CCS provides additional resources for premature babies up to age 21, with CCS-eligible chronic medical conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and spina bifida.