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Cape Coral Hospital named a Level II maternal care verified facility from The Joint Commission

By Staff | Jun 5, 2023

Cape Coral Hospital. FILE

Lee Health’s Cape Coral Hospital has been named a Level II maternal care verified facility by The Joint Commission’s Maternal Levels of Care verification program, in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It is one of the first hospitals in Florida to receive this distinction.

The MLC Verification program provides an objective assessment of a facility’s capabilities and verifies that a hospital has the expertise, equipment and resources in place for a patient’s specific needs and risk level. When complications arise, verification also confirms that hospitals have agreements in place so the mother can be transferred to a higher-level facility with the appropriate level of care.

“The MLC distinction shows that Cape Coral Hospital is one of the best places in the community for maternal care and we’re very proud of that. We work hard to make sure all of our patients receive compassionate, high-quality care,” said Cherrie Morris, M.D., chief physician and operations executive at Cape Coral Hospital.

“This recognition shows that our Women’s Services Team goes the extra mile for their patients and their little bundles of joy,” said Candace S. Smith, Ph.D., chief nursing and operations executive at Cape Coral Hospital. “They can handle any type of challenge when it comes to maternal care. It’s a testament to how hard this team works, including nurses, doctors and midwives.”

As a Level II Specialty Care facility, Cape Coral Hospital has demonstrated that it can care for all women who qualify for a delivery at an accredited birth center for Level 1 Basic Care and all Level II Specialty Care.

Level I (Basic Care) is for low- to moderate-risk pregnancies with the ability to detect, stabilize, and initiate management of unanticipated maternal-fetal or neonatal problems that occur during the antepartum, intrapartum or postpartum period.

Level II (Specialty Care) care is for moderate- to high-risk antepartum, intrapartum or postpartum conditions.

Last year, Cape Coral Hospital had a cesarean section rate of 13.8%, which is well-below the national benchmark for a cesarean section at 23.6%. The hospital’s rate was at 31.9% in 2019, decreasing by almost 20 points in 2022.

The U.S. News & World Report also rated Cape Coral Hospital as one of the Best Maternity Hospitals for 2022-2023 for its dedication to high-quality care and uncomplicated pregnancies. It also looked at five different factors: Scheduled early deliveries, C-section rates in low-risk women, newborn complications, rate of exclusive breast milk feeding and option for vaginal births after a cesarean.

“The Joint Commission commends Cape Coral Hospital for being named a Level II Specialty Care maternal care verified facility and for its efforts to standardize maternal care and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality,” said Deborah Ryan, MS, RN, interim executive vice president, Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “The Maternal Levels of Care Verification program will help Cape Coral Hospital strengthen regionalized care for mothers and babies in its community.”

The MLC Verification program was developed using ACOG’s Levels of Maternal Care Obstetric Care Consensus (OCC) clinical guidance, which includes comprehensive uniform definitions, a standardized description of maternity facility capabilities and personnel, and a framework for integrated systems that address maternal health needs.

To learn more about Cape Coral Hospital, please visit https://www.leehealth.org/locations/find-a-location/family-birth-suites-cape-coral-hospital.