Rowan adds higher level of care for medically fragile patients

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January 26, 2008, Salisbury, NC ń Rowan Regional Medical Center has added round-the-clock nurse practitioner coverage in its maternity department, creating a higher level of care for premature and other newborns needing critical care.

Neonatal nurse practitioner coverage is now provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) is a professional registered nurse with clinical experience in neonatal nursing who has received formal education with supervised clinical experience in the management of sick newborns and their families. The NNP manages a caseload of neonatal babies with consultation, collaboration, and general supervision from a physician. The physicians at Salisbury Pediatrics will supervise the NNPs at Rowan Regional.

Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte will rotate about 20 NNPs to Rowan so the medical center will have 24/7 coverage. They will attend all Caesarean sections or high-risk deliveries and be available for newborn consults.

ěThis new level of coverage means that families needing a higher level of care for their newborns can get it in a much quicker time,î said Rowan Regionalís Chief Nursing Officer Edwina Ritchie.

Cora Greene, MSN, RNC, Director of Womenís and Childrenís Services at Rowan Regional, said that the neonatal nurse practitioners add another level of expertise for the maternity department. ěThey are experts who are specially trained and certified in neonatal intensive care who can evaluate patients, write orders, and perform all nursery procedures. We are very excited to have them here at Rowan,î she added.

Also available if needed is Presbyterianís Neonatal Transport unit stationed in Charlotte, which can transport critically ill infants from Rowan to Presbyterian Hemby Childrenís Hospital or wherever the physician and family determines is needed for critical care. The dedicated pediatric Transport staff, with specialized equipment in the mobile unit, was the first team in the area created just for children.

ěThe mobile unit and its special treatment team respond quickly to calls, and intensive care treatment begins immediately upon arrival at the referring hospital,î said Pat Campbell, Vice-President for Womenís Services at Presbyterian Hospital.

Rowan Regional Medical Center, affiliated with Novant Health, is a private, not-for-profit acute acre hospital based in Salisbury with over 150 active physicians representing more than 35 medical specialties.