Mercy Hospitals Honored for Hepatitis B Vaccine Birth Dose Rate

January 22, 2015

Sara McAllister, RN, holds newborn Dayton. Mercy 

hosptials were recognized for their commitment

to providing vaccinations to newborns.

All three Mercy hospitals in the St. Louis region have been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) for achieving the highest reported rates in Missouri for protecting newborns from hepatitis B virus infection.

“We are very proud to have our staff acknowledged for their care and dedication to these youngest patients as an example of our commitment to all the lives we touch,” said Trish Geldbach, vice president of women’s services at Mercy. “Our Mercy Kids pediatric pharmacists helped lead the way to make our hospitals stand above the rest.”

Mercy Hospitals in St. Louis, Jefferson County and Washington, Missouri, were among only five hospitals in the state to be placed on the IAC’s Birth Dose Honor Roll, which recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have attained high coverage levels for administering the hepatitis B vaccine at birth.

Mercy Jefferson immunized 95 percent of babies from October 2013 through October 2014. Mercy Washington reported a 94 percent coverage rate from October 2013 through September 2014, and Mercy St. Louis reported a 91 percent coverage from September 2013 through August 2014. All three hospitals took additional steps to prevent perinatal transmission of hepatitis B.

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. This standard is being adopted by centers of healthcare excellence nationwide as a safety net to protect newborns from a wide range of medical errors that lead to babies being unprotected from perinatal hepatitis B infection.

“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. “Mercy’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.”

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