HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball launched its new OB-GYN hospitalist program June 1, which entails OB-GYN hospitalists providing 24/7 support to other physicians and patients at the hospital.

“HCA Tomball prioritizes women’s services at our facility and recognized the OB hospitalist program as a great opportunity to continue evolving the level of care our patients can expect,” CEO Robert Marmerstein said via email.

Diving in deeper

Formal development and planning for this new program began in the second quarter of 2023 as the hospital’s delivery volume increased, Marmerstein said. Among their duties, the new OB-GYN hospitalists will be available around the clock to provide support wherever needed.

“In addition, if a patient’s regular OB-GYN is unavailable or delayed, our on-site OB hospitalist will review their medical record and birth plan, and support their care,” Marmerstein said.

HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball also anticipates this new program will help the hospital increase the number of local OB-GYN physicians who are looking for “a high-performing and safe facility to deliver their care at,” Marmerstein said.

Also of note

In its April 2023 issue, the Journal of Patient Safety published study results that showed hospitals staffed with OB-GYN hospitalists had lower levels of severe maternal morbidity. Severe maternal morbidity includes unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery that can result in significant short- or long-term health consequences, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Of hospitals with 24/7 coverage, those that primarily used OB[-GYN] hospitalists had a lower SMM for all mothers and for low-income mothers than those who primarily used nonhospitalist OB[-GYN] providers,” the study results section reads.

Before you go

This new program will also allow HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball to expand its women’s services, which includes plans to achieve Level III neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, status, Marmerstein said. HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball's NICU is at Level II, according to its website.

  • Level II NICU: specialty care nursery that can care for mothers and infants at 32-plus weeks of gestation with problems to be resolved rapidly
  • Level III NICU: NICU that can care for mothers and infants of all gestational ages with mild to critical illnesses