Dr. Bitar, medical director of MedStar Harbor Women's Care, and Dr. Ghadisha, OB hospitalist and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MedStar Harbor, discuss a recent delivery.
Nearly every pregnant woman hopes that the obstetrician she saw during her pregnancy will be the one to deliver her baby when the big day comes. And in some cases, that’s exactly what happens. Mom-to-be goes to the hospital when the time is right, and her physician is there to bring her new bundle of joy into the world.
Sometimes, however, the obstetrician that mom-to-be selected, and saw for care throughout her pregnancy, simply cannot be there. Maybe the physician is out of town. Perhaps he or she is seeing patients in an office, or is at the hospital but has three other patients delivering babies at the exact same time. Or it might be that the mom goes into labor in the middle of the night, and progresses so quickly that the baby is born before the physician can even get to the hospital.
The good news is that MedStar Harbor Hospital has taken steps to ensure that every new mom receives the expert care she needs when delivery time comes, even when one of these unpredictable situations occurs.
Five full-time OB hospitalists— board-certified Ob/Gyns who are dedicated to the hospital and the patients who arrive to deliver their babies— are on staff. Scheduled on rotations around-the-clock, these hospitalists work with the woman’s personal obstetrician, stepping in to provide the skills, care and support a new mom needs when her regular physician is unavailable.
According to David Ghadisha, MD, OB hospitalist and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MedStar Harbor, it’s a model that promises each woman continuum of care, regardless of when her baby is born.
“When a woman is in labor and preparing for the birth of her baby, every minute counts. Delivery is not a riskfree event,” says Dr. Ghadisha. “It’s important that a hospital have physicians and nurses on board with the right skills ready to respond immediately for deliveries that are routine in nature as well as the more complicated ones. MedStar Harbor has that. It creates a safer process and a better patient experience.”
Having a team of OB hospitalists on board carries great benefits for patients and physicians alike. Obstetricians who are part of MedStar Harbor’s medical staff collaborate with the hospitalists and highly skilled nurses to remain “in the loop” during and after their patients are in delivery without disrupting their daily office schedules. They can remain focused on patient appointments that are scheduled, knowing that patients who have been admitted to the hospital are in good hands.
“I always tell my patients that I will make every effort to be at the hospital for the delivery, but if I can’t be there, physicians and nurses that I know and have a strong relationship with will be ready to take care of them,” says Wael Bitar, MD, medical director of MedStar Harbor Women’s Care. “I trust the team that works day in and day out on the unit and because of that, I can stay focused each day on my tasks at hand, and give every single patient the time and attention she deserves throughout her pregnancy.”
Additionally, the OB hospitalists are a resource for pregnant women who are seen in the MedStar Harbor Emergency department (ED), or admitted to the hospital for treatment of other medical issues not related to their pregnancy. Dr. Ghadisha explains that it is ideal for a trained obstetrician to be involved whenever a pregnant patient presents in the hospital in need of treatment.
“Our goal is always to provide a safe and comfortable environment of care for our patients,” says Dr. Ghadisha. “If a pregnant woman comes into the ED with a broken bone or has cut her hand and can’t get the bleeding under control, for example, the OB hospitalist is there to help make decisions about the treatment plan. Again, it all goes back to safety and doing everything we can to give each patient a great experience and outcome.”