The Department of Anesthesiology’s Obstetric Division has been awarded Center of Excellence designation by the Society for Obstetric Anesthesiology and Perinatology (SOAP). The SOAP Center of Excellence (COE) designation was created to recognize institutions and programs that demonstrate excellence in obstetric anesthesia care and to set a benchmark of expected care to improve standards nationally and internationally.
UVA obstetric anesthesiologist Ashley Garneau, MD, initiated and completed the intensive application and evaluation process.
Dr. Garneau notes, “I think it’s amazing to receive national and international recognition for the exceptionally safe, patient-centered and evidence-based care we deliver on the labor floor alongside our colleagues in obstetrics and nursing. This honor represents a small token of how proud I am to work at this institution.”
The Center of Excellence criteria are generated by expert consensus and incorporate evidence-based recommendations. They cover all aspects of obstetric anesthesia care and include: personnel and staffing; equipment, protocols, and policies; simulation and team training; obstetric emergency management; cesarean delivery and labor analgesia care; recommendations and guidelines implementation; and quality assurance and patient follow-up systems.
UVA is a Level IV Regional Perinatal Health Care Center, providing medical and surgical care for the most complex maternal conditions and critically ill pregnant women, and receives approximately 200 maternal transfers per year from a large catchment area. In addition to the increased complexity of care, the number of births at UVA has increased sharply over the past decade, from 1591 annual deliveries in 2012, to 2315 annual deliveries in 2022.
Remarking on UVA’s application for COE designation, the SOAP expert reviewers found that UVA was a “well run center with excellent multidisciplinary communication and teamwork.” In addition, they noted that its was “obvious from the application” that “core faculty members are superbly trained (double fellowship training in cardiac anesthesia for 2, and ICU for 1) which allows management of the sickest patients.”