Saint Peter’s University Hospital is 1st in the Nation to Earn Level IV Maternal Care Verification from The Joint Commission

November 1, 2022

Saint Peter’s University Hospital is 1st in the Nation  to Earn Level IV Maternal Care Verification from The Joint Commission
New Brunswick, N.J. – November 1, 2022 – The Joint Commission’s Maternal Levels of Care (MLC) Verification program, offered in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), has named Saint Peter’s University Hospital as a Level IV maternal care verified facility. Saint Peter’s is the first in the nation to receive this new designation from The Joint Commission, the highest level attainable and a recognition requiring an arduous review process. The Maternal Levels of Care verification is valid for three years.
The Joint Commission’s Maternal Levels of Care Verification program provides an objective assessment of a facility’s capabilities and verifies that a hospital has the expertise, equipment and resources in place for a patient’s specific needs and risk level. As a Level IV facility, Saint Peter’s is recognized for its onsite medical and surgical care of the most complex maternal conditions and critically ill pregnant women and babies before, during and after pregnancy. Saint Peter’s recently expanded the ability to view fetal heart rate monitoring for a mother whether she’s in labor and delivery or in the adult intensive care unit by looking at one big monitor that’s tracking all the information for providers on all floors. This procedure increases situational awareness allowing monitoring as to what’s happening with babies in every unit.
Level IV status includes verification for meeting the criteria required for Level I which is defined as “basic care” – caring for low- to moderate-risk pregnancies, demonstrating the ability to detect, stabilize, and initiate management of unanticipated maternal-fetal or neonatal problems that occur during antepartum, intrapartum, or postpartum period until the patient can be transferred to a facility at which the specialty maternal care is available, such as Saint Peter’s. Level II is assessed as a hospital’s ability to offer “specialty care,” which includes meeting Level I criteria plus moderate- to high-risk antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum conditions. Level III is assessed as offering “subspecialty care,” meaning that in addition to meeting the criteria for Levels I and II, the facility must show the ability to care for more complex maternal medical conditions, obstetric complications and fetal conditions.
Saint Peter’s underwent a comprehensive two-day on-site review by a Joint Commission surveyor to verify the level of care provided. The evaluation’s goal is to observe and assess best practices including compliance with the organization’s policies and procedures related to maternity care. In addition to speaking directly with patients and tracking them through all phases of care, the surveyor interviewed staff; assessed Saint Peter’s performance improvement plan; reviewed staff education; and completed a full review of the hospital’s credentialing/privileging process related to maternal health care. Unit tours included observation and inspection of every stage of care and interaction, from admission to labor and delivery, as well as to the neonatal intensive care unit. The assessment also included oversight of processes related to patient education and staff communication.
“It is a tremendous honor to be the first hospital in the country to receive The Joint Commission’s Maternal Levels of Care Verification as a Level IV facility,” said Carlos Benito, MD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “While Saint Peter’s has long been recognized regionally for its comprehensive care for expectant mothers and newborns, The Joint Commission’s verification offers further validation that we are equipped to deliver all levels of care from low-risk to the most complicated cases.”
Saint Peter’s also earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Perinatal Care, a symbol of quality that reflects the organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care for mothers and infants leading up to, during and after birth.
“The Joint Commission commends Saint Peter’s University Hospital for being named a Level IV maternal care verified facility and for its efforts to standardize maternal care and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality,” says Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “The Maternal Levels of Care Verification program will help Saint Peter’s strengthen regionalized care for mothers and babies in its community.”
The MLC Verification program was developed using ACOG’s Levels of Maternal Care Obstetric Care Consensus (OCC) clinical guidance, which includes comprehensive uniform definitions, a standardized description of maternity facility capabilities and personnel, and a framework for integrated systems that address maternal health needs. To learn more, visit The Joint Commission website.
Saint Peter’s was also recognized by Newsweek as one of the nation’s Best Maternity Hospitals for 2022.
Saint Peter’s has a state-designated Regional Perinatal Center that includes an award-winning Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for premature or fragile newborns who need specialty care. Saint Peter’s Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center is New Jersey’s first birth center to be located on the grounds of a hospital and the first hospital-based midwifery-led birth center in the state to be accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers. To learn more about Saint Peter’s comprehensive maternity services, please visit
About Saint Peter’s University Hospital
Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, is a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. Saint Peter’s, which received its sixth consecutive designation as a Magnet® hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2020, is a state-designated children’s hospital and a regional perinatal center, and is a regional specialist in diabetes, gastroenterology, head and neck surgery, oncology, orthopedics, and women’s services. Saint Peter’s is the recipient of the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for the adult intensive care unit, neonatal intensive care unit, cardiac progressive care unit and the pediatric intensive care unit. The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital provides families with access to a full range of pediatric specialties, including a nationally recognized Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric surgery and orthopedic surgery featuring innovative anterior scoliosis correction. The hospital offers a midwifery service and the brand-new state-of-the-art Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center. Saint Peter’s is a sponsor of residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and internal medicine, and is a major clinical affiliate of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Visit or call 732-745-8600.

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