Hospital patients don't have to wait to see OB

  • Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Everyone knows waiting is a part of pregnancy. But when a pregnant woman is ready to deliver or otherwise needs urgent care, it’s best for her to see an obstetrician/gynecologist right away.   The new OB/GYN Hospitalist Program at Summerville Medical Center (SMC) will ensure she does. Introduced in July, the program provides obstetrics and gynecology coverage at the hospital around the clock so that an OB/GYN is immediately available to care for a pregnant patient who does not have a physician, or until a woman’s personal physician can see her at the hospital. Complimenting the new staff is the hospital’s addition of an obstetrics emergency department, which is on the same floor as SMC’s labor and delivery unit.   SMC is the first hospital in the state to provide a dedicated OB/GYN hospitalist team with doctors devoted exclusively to that endeavor, without private practices of their own. Trident Medical Center (TMC) in North Charleston will add an OB/GYN Hospitalist Program in August. Both are campuses of Trident Health, which is partnering with OB Hospitalist Group (OBHG) to offer the dedicated program at the two hospitals.   Dr. Susan Kady Wilson leads the team at SMC, which also includes Dr. Tawanna Gilliard, Dr. Melissa Pearce, Dr. Greg Miller and Dr. Ann Gorman. All the physicians are board certified in their specialty and have received additional training in advanced fetal monitoring, risk management and operative delivery.   “We provide an OB/GYN in the hospital 24/7, 365 days a year,” says Dr. Wilson. “One of the most recognizable advantages is having someone in house when an emergency presents.”   At the same time, patients appreciate having an on-site OB/GYN who can quickly discern when a woman does not need emergency care or hospitalization so she can return to the comfort of home.   The OB/GYN hospitalists are active members of the hospital staff and communicate directly with key medical personnel in the hospital, including medical and surgical consultants, discharge planners, social workers, clergy and others. In general, hospitalists are physicians who work inside the hospital and care for admitted patients in coordination with the patient’s personal physician. The hospitalist concept has gained support in medicine over the past 15 years, and OB-GYN hospitalists are a more recent but increasingly popular trend.   “We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from patients and physicians since we started the OB/GYN Hospitalist Program at Summerville Medical Center in July,” says Dr. Wilson.   Dr. Christine Case, an OB-GYN with Coastal Women’s Care, sees the new program as an added layer of safety for patients. “If they come in with an obstetrical emergency, there will be a doctor at the hospital ready to take care of them.”

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