Paoli Hospital, part of Main Line Health (MLH), has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) and the Pennsylvania Health Department for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the state for its work to protect newborns from hepatitis B virus infection. Paoli is the first hospital in Pennsylvania to win this award, with a vaccination rate of 93 percent.
“It is an honor for our hospital and the entire Main Line Health System to be recognized amongst 205 health care facilities from across the US and Puerto Rico,” said Tina Saurman, nurse manager, Family Centered Maternity/NICU, Paoli Hospital. “This accomplishment is a clear example of our clinicians partnering with new parents to give babies a healthier start.”
Paoli Hospital is the newest entry into IAC’s Birth Dose Honor Roll, which recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have attained high coverage levels for administering the hepatitis B vaccine at birth. Paoli Hospital immunized 2,155 babies, 93 percent of babies born between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014, 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 health care 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. “Paoli Hospital’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.”