OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the state for its work to protect newborns from hepatitis B virus infection.
“We’re very proud of our commitment and focus on healthy beginnings for our patients. The hepatitis B vaccinations are just one of the many quality initiatives OSF focuses on,” said Mary Zimmerman, manager of the Obstetrics and Nursery Department at OSF St. Francis.
OSF St. Francis is the newest entry into IAC’s Birth Dose Honor Roll (www.immunize.org/honor-roll/birthdose), which recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have attained high coverage levels for administering the hepatitis B vaccine at birth. From 01/01/2017 to 12/31/2017, OSF St. Francis immunized 91 percent of babies born and took additional steps to prevent perinatal transmission of hepatitis B.
The national standard of care to prevent hepatitis B virus infection in babies is to administer hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns before they leave the hospital or birthing center. This standard is being adopted by centers of healthcare excellence nationwide as a safety net to protect newborns from a wide range of medical errors that lead to babies being unprotected from perinatal hepatitis B infection.
“Hospitals and birthing centers have a responsibility to protect babies from life-threatening hepatitis B infection,” said Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director and founder of IAC. “OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group’s commitment to the best practice of hepatitis B vaccination at birth has shown them to be a leader in preventing the transmission of the hepatitis B virus.”
OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group is a Medicare designated critical access hospital, providing care for patients and their families in Delta County and surrounding communities. As a part of OSF HealthCare based in Peoria, Ill., OSF St. Francis employs more than 600 individuals, with more than 100 physicians and advanced practice providers on its medical staff. It offers hospital, physician and home care services. For more information about OSF visit www.osfstfrancis.org.