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Harris Health’s LBJ Hospital Receives Level III Designation for Neonatal Care

​Harris Health System’s Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital received its Level III Neonatal Care Designation from the Texas Department of State Health Services, meaning the hospital is expert in taking care of the tiniest patients.

“Our physicians and nurses’ commitment to high-quality care and the safety of our patients played a major role in LBJ Hospital achieving this recognition,” says Alan Vierling, DNP, RN, FABC, executive vice president and administrator, LBJ Hospital. “It demonstrates our dedication to our patients and community and our commitment to provide excellent healthcare to the most vulnerable patients.”

To improve maternal and infant care outcomes, the Texas legislature adopted new accreditation standards. In 2018, all hospitals across the state had to demonstrate expertise and the capacity to care for the sickest babies. Hospitals that failed to achieve a designation risk being barred from the Medicaid program.

“Our staff pushed itself to raise performance standards thanks to the support of our executive leadership team,” says Maria D’Souza, RNC-NIC, MSN, MHA, NEA-BC, director of nursing, Women, Infant and Children, LBJ Hospital.

Neonatal experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics reviewed LBJ Hospital’s program assigning it the appropriate designation. As a Level III designation, the hospital was commended for its comprehensive care provided to mothers and infants of all gestational ages from mild to critical illnesses.

Dr. Sophia Tsakiri, medical director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and High-Risk Nursery, LBJ Hospital and associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, commended the team work of physicians and nursing in the effort.

“It was a privilege witnessing the remarkable teamwork and improvement in patient safety, quality of care and evidence-based practice,” she says.

Additionally, the designation means the hospital has expert medical and nursing staff offering life-sustaining support to all infants, support of major pediatric surgery and a mechanism for working collaboratively with other lower- or higher-level-designated facilities.

LBJ Hospital joins the system’s Ben Taub Hospital in achieving the Level III designation for its neonatal care. Both hospitals are now working toward receiving designations for their overall women, infant and children’s departments.