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UT Southwestern teaching hospital halves its rate of premature births, researchers find
Date:2/27/2009

gher rate of poverty, the researchers noted. In 1988, Parkland began a program designed to provide minority women better care during pregnancy and birth and just after birth. When the program started, 88 percent of Parkland patients received prenatal care. By 2006, that number had increased to 98 percent.

One feature that allows smooth care in the Parkland system is a strict protocol that lays out how to respond to specific situations. For instance, if a woman goes to a satellite clinic for prenatal care and is found to have a condition that makes the pregnancy risky, she is automatically referred to the main hospital, Dr. Leveno said.

In addition, Parkland has a large staff of nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who handle routine births, freeing the doctors to work on high-risk cases. And because the hospital is the only public hospital in Dallas County, many indigent patients receive all their medical care through the system, so they have a single medical record that is easily tracked.

"It's a complex interaction of a lot of pieces," Dr. Leveno said.


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Contact: Aline McKenzie
aline.mckenzie@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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