Northeast Georgia Medical Center Honored for Protecting Newborns from Hepatitis B Virus Infection
Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the state for its work to protect newborns from hepatitis B virus infection. NGMC is one of only six hospitals in Georgia to be named to the IAC’s Birth Dose Honor Roll.
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. The Birth Dose Honor Roll recognizes birthing centers and hospitals like NGMC that have attained high coverage levels for administering the hepatitis B vaccine at birth.
“Receiving this recognition is a true illustration of the hard work and dedication of our physicians and staff to ensure the highest level of care for our newborns,” says Sara Dyer, director of Women and Children’s Services at NGMC.
To be included in the Honor Roll program, a birthing institution must: have achieved a coverage rate of 90 percent or greater over a 12-month period for administering hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns before hospital discharge; and have implemented detailed written policies, procedures and protocols to protect all newborns from hepatitis B virus infection prior to hospital discharge.
Northeast Georgia Medical Center exceeded these requirements with an immunization coverage rate of 95 percent from October 2012 to September 2013.
“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. “Northeast Georgia Medical Center’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.”
NGMC’s nationally recognized obstetric services are provided in a state-of-the-art Women & Children’s Pavilion with the region’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. NGMC is also the recipient of Healthgrades’ Women’s Health Excellence Award, placing the hospital in the top five percent in the nation for women’s health. For more information, visit www.nghs.com/women, or call 770-219-1495.