Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Excels in Maternity Practices Study

Maternity department scores significantly higher than state, regional, and national averages.

When it comes to beginning-of-life care, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is doing it right.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MVH posted a 98 out of 100 rating in the most recent (2015) maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey. That’s significantly higher than most facilities in Massachusetts and across the country.

The mPINC survey is a national, voluntary survey that measures infant feeding practices, policies, and staff training at hospitals that provide maternity services. More than 2,650 facilities participated in the survey, reflecting an 83 percent national response rate. In Massachusetts, the average score was 87 points. As a region, New England hospitals scored an average of 88 points. The national average was 79.

"We are obviously very pleased to see these kinds of results,” said Nurse Manager Joyce Capobianco, RN, “We take beginning-of-life care very seriously at MVH and our score reflects the commitment we’ve made to serving the mothers and families who come to us for care.”

“Our ‘98’,” she said, “is an overall quality score that actually reflects seven different aspects of care including labor and delivery; postpartum feeding of breastfed infants; breastfeeding assistance and contact between the mother and her baby; discharge care; staff training; and the structural and organizational aspects of care delivery. In every one of those categories, we exceled.”

According to the CDC, mothers and infants spend a relatively short amount of time at the hospital during the birthing process, but the events that take place during that time have a lasting impact. The CDC, along with many other health-related organizations, believes that breastfeeding instruction and education should be supported throughout a woman’s pregnancy, during her hospital stay, and after she and her baby have gone home.

“There is a great deal of evidence-based research that confirms the importance of breast feeding, both for babies and their moms,” Capobianco said. “There are also a number of best practices that have been identified that help ensure what needs to take place during the birthing process actually takes place. Part of what our mPINC score represents is our understanding of, and commitment to following, those best practices.”

“And when I say ‘our’ score,” she continued, “I’m talking about our entire support team, everyone involved in the birthing process, from the doctors, midwives and nurses who are providing pre-natal care, to the anesthesiologists and OR staff not to mention the pediatricians and family-practice providers – everyone involved in the process from beginning to end.”

“The resources and care available to pregnant women on Martha’s Vineyard is nothing short of outstanding,” said CEO Joe Woodin, “and our score on the 2015 mPINC survey is, I think, a good reflection of the work that’s been going on here for a long time. Countless hours have been spent making the maternity experience here not just comfortable and beautiful – as it should be – but also educational and informative. The mothers who come here for care may only spend a few days with us, but they leave here with knowledge and understanding that will serve them and their babies for life.”

According to Woodin, the hospital has been working for the past several years to achieve accreditation from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as a Baby Friendly Hospital. The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that recognizes birthing facilities worldwide that implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

“We just recently completed our final BFHI survey,” Capobianco said, “and we expect to know the results of that survey by the end of the year. There is currently a huge campaign going on to make Massachusetts a ‘Baby Friendly’ state, and we would love to be ahead of the curve in that regard.”

About MVH: Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is a member of Partners HealthCare and an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital. This partnership allows us to provide our patients with seamless accessibility to outstanding community-based medicine as well as the most advanced specialty care in the world.

Since its incorporation in April 1921, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital has been committed to delivering high quality, compassionate medical care to each and every member of the Vineyard’s year-round and seasonal community, as well as all who visit here.