Mercy Health improves emergency care for expectant mothers

SPRINGFIELD – Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center is working to improve emergency care for expectant mothers by allowing them to skip the emergency room and go straight to the Labor and Delivery department.

Previously, women under 20 weeks of gestation would be seen in the emergency department. As of July 11, 2022, all obstetrical patients with a pregnancy related complaint will be seen by specialists on the hospital’s Family Birthing Center team.

“The goal is to expedite their care and get them the specific care they need, with the hope that this will not only improve their continuity of care but also their overall experience,” explained Nicole Conley, the Birthing Center Nurse Manager.

She said the idea for the change came about during the height of the pandemic when local emergency rooms were overrun with patients.

“We don’t see the volumes that the emergency department does, so we can see these patients right away. Because we specialize in expectant mothers, we may also be more sensitive to their specific needs.”

Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center’s Family Birthing Center has a provider on site 24/7 now, thanks to the addition of a midwifery program in Spring of 2022.

“Before, we’d have to call physicians remotely but now, there’s a midwife on site seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” explained Conley, who adds that a physician covers the overnight hours. “They’ve been an amazing addition that’s really helped our workflow, giving us another set of eyes to evaluate patient and baby and ensuring we don’t have to delay care. Plus, the patients love it.”

Patients have also benefited from the Spring launch of Mercy Health – Springfield’s Maternal Fetal Medicine program, which brings in providers from Ohio State University once a month to allow women with high-risk pregnancies to receive the care they need close to home.

Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center, recognized as an Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care, safely delivered more than 1,000 babies in 2021. To learn more about the maternity care offered there, visit

Submitted story

Info from Mercy Health