St. Francis Women’s Hospital is first hospital in Georgia to achieve Perinatal Care Certification from The Joint Commission

December 28, 2016

St. Francis Women’s Hospital has earned Perinatal Care Certification from The Joint Commission.  It is the first hospital in Georgia to achieve the prestigious certification. As of today, there were no other facilities in the state to have earned the certification.

St. Francis Women’s Hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review earlier this year to assess its compliance with certification standards for perinatal care. During the review, Joint Commission experts completed an independent evaluation of the hospital’s perinatal health care services, as well as the following key requirements:

  • Integrated, coordinated patient-centered care that starts with prenatal and continues through postpartum care
  • Early identification of high-risk pregnancies and births
  • Management of mothers’ and newborns’ risks at a level corresponding to the program’s capabilities
  • Available patient education and information about perinatal care services 

Compliance with the core performance measures being evaluated are designed to achieve:

  • Reduction in infant mortality rates 
  • Reduction in maternal complications and mortality 
  • Reduction of unnecessary induction of labor 
  • Reduction of elective deliveries that can lead to an increase in neonatal intensive care unit admission rates 
  • Reduction of complication of deliveries 
  • Reduction of prematurity rates that can lead to infant mortality 
  • Reduction in costs associated with lengthy hospitals stays due to pregnancy-related complications 

“Achieving Perinatal Care Certification recognizes an organization’s commitment to healthy mothers and healthy babies,” said Patrick Phelan, interim executive director, Hospital Business Development, The Joint Commission. “The certification gives providers an unparalleled advantage when it comes to preparing mothers for labor and delivery, while also being able to help them if complications arise.”

Established in 2015, Perinatal Care Certification is awarded for a two-year period to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals who seek to comply with these additional specialty program standards.

“I am very proud of our staff for this significant achievement,” said David Koontz, chief executive officer of Saint Francis Hospital. “Being the first hospital in Georgia to earn Perinatal Care Certification from The Joint Commission demonstrates our staff’s extraordinary commitment to providing the highest quality of care for mothers and newborn babies.”

Earlier this year, the hospital also was recognized by the March of Dimes for its work to give babies a healthier start in life. St. Francis Hospital earned the recognition after successfully reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy to less than one percent (1%).

About St Francis

St. Francis, a 376-bed facility, offers a full range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency services and is the only area hospital offering open-heart surgery. With more than 2,800 employees, 300 physicians and the latest technology, we strive to help you regain and maintain your health.  In addition to being the first hospital in Georgia to earn Perinatal Care certification from The Joint Commission, the St. Francis Women’s Hospital is proud to be working toward our Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative  designation. This venture of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer the best level of care in infant feeding and bonding between mother and baby. For more information or a virtual tour of the Women’s Hospital, visit the website at

About The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at