"Identifying the specific level of care available at each hospital allows the sickest patients to make sure they are in the right place."

Perinatal levels of care: What We Are Doing

WAPC believes that meeting the recommended standards for each level of care will improve perinatal outcomes by assuring appropriate services and personnel to meet the needs of women and infants. 

The WAPC adopted the levels of care criteria based on recommendations released in 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). WAPC incorporated the recommendations into a self-assessment process by which facilities can evaluate the perinatal services provided. 

This self-assessment process is a continuation of WAPC's long history of promoting healthy birth outcomes through regionalized perinatal care. The ultimate goals of this initiative are to:

  1. Establish a consistent set of minimum expectations for each level of perinatal services.
  2. Enable each institution to provide consumers with a consistent level and quality of perinatal services.
  3. Recognize the capabilities, commitment, and resources of institutions that are beyond the minimum expectation for their level of perinatal services.

Self-Assessment Process
The WAPC Levels of Care Review Team reviews blinded copies of the submissions. The Review Team is comprised of members representing different disciplines (medical and nursing), different specialties (obstetrics and neonatology), and different hospital systems. If Review Team members have questions about the survey results, WAPC staff contacts the person at the facility who submitted the survey for clarification. WAPC staff presents the follow-up information received to the Review Team. The Review Team then decides whether the hospital satisfies the requirements for the designated level of care. WAPC lists hospitals that successfully complete the process on its Web site.

Self-Assessment Process Results

In addition to reviewing self-assessment survey submissions, the Review Team is a resource for hospitals. The Review Team has policy templates available for hospitals that are interested in strengthening perinatal services.

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