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John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek Medical Center Achieves The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Perinatal Care Certification

The Walnut Creek Medical Center is the first Bay Area hospital to achieve this certification level

(Walnut Creek, CA) John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek Medical Center is the first Bay Area hospital to achieve The Joint Commission’s (TJC’s) Gold Seal of Approval® for Perinatal Care Certification. This certification recognizes the expertise of providers and staff in preparing mothers for labor and delivery, including helping mothers and newborns get the appropriate care when known or unexpected complications arise.

Established in 2015, the Perinatal Certification Program recognizes TJC-accredited hospitals for achieving integrated, coordinated and patient-centered care for mothers and their newborns. To earn this certification, Walnut Creek Medical Center providers and staff went through a rigorous onsite review to assess compliance with TJC’s perinatal care certification standards, including the following key requirements:

  • Integrated, coordinated, patient-centered care
  • Early identification of high-risk pregnancies and births
  • Management of mothers’ and newborns’ risks at a level corresponding to the program’s capabilities
  • Available patient education and information about perinatal care services to help mothers make informed decisions about care, treatment or services
  • Ongoing quality-improvement processes for prenatal to postpartum care

Reviewers evaluated compliance with related certification standards including providing alternative options for a low-intervention birthing experience, as well as seamless transition to our in-house Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for babies needing a higher level of care. 

“John Muir Health has always been dedicated to providing the highest quality of care,” said Jane Willemsen, EVP and President, Hospital Operations. “Perinatal certification is a wonderful testament to how our team seamlessly works together to provide safe, high-quality care for our community’s mothers and babies.”

According to the TJC, organizations that monitor and adhere to perinatal care core measures are more likely to demonstrate the following improvements:

  • Reduction in infant mortality rates
  • Reduction in maternal complications and mortality
  • Reduction of unnecessary induction of labor
  • Reduction of elective deliveries that can lead to an increase in admission rates to the neonatal intensive care unit
  • Reduction of complications during deliveries
  • Reduction of prematurity rates that can lead to infant mortality
  • Reduction in costs associated with lengthy hospital stays due to pregnancy related complications

“This recognition formalizes what I had already known about the phenomenal care provided by my colleagues,” said Dr. Sari Kasper, Department Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology.  “Our physicians and staff consistently excel at providing safe, patient-centered care for our low-risk and most complicated patients.”

For more information, please visit John Muir Health’s Pregnancy and New Parent website.

About John Muir Health
John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, 6,200 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with UCSF Health, Tenet Healthcare/San Ramon Regional Medical Center, Stanford Children's Health and Optum. The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care. 

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