Designation Criteria

(excerpted from NYSDOH Regulations 2003)

[(14)](15) Level I perinatal care [program] service shall mean a comprehensive maternal and newborn service [services program provided by a hospital designated as such by the department for women who have been assessed as having a normal, low-risk pregnancy and having a fetus which has been assessed as developing normally and without apparent complications. A woman at low risk means a woman with a normal, medical surgical and obstetrical history and a normal uncomplicated prenatal course as determined by adequate prenatal care, and prospects for a normal, uncomplicated birth] as defined by Section 721.2(a) of this Title.

[(15)](16) Level II perinatal care [program]service shall mean a comprehensive maternal and newborn service [services program provided by a hospital designated as such by the department for women who have been assessed as having the potential or likelihood for a complicated or high-risk delivery and/or bearing a fetus exhibiting the potential for unusual or high-risk development who may require an intermediate or intensive level of specialized care services. Such programs may also provide services to women requiring care normally provided at Level I programs] as defined by Section 721.2(b) of this Title.

[(16)](17) Level III perinatal care[program] service shall mean a comprehensive maternal and newborn service [services program provided by a hospital designated as such by the department, provided by a tertiary care hospital for women who have been assessed as high-risk patients and/or are bearing high-risk fetuses as determined by a standardized risk assessment tool, who will require the highest level of specialized care. Such programs may also provide services to women requiring care normally provided at Level I and II programs] as defined by Section 721.2(c) of this Title.

[(17)](18) Regional perinatal [care]center (“RPC”) shall mean a [facility]hospital or hospitals housing a Level III perinatal care [program and designated as such by the department, serving a given designated region which provides all aspects of maternal and neonatal care and whose functions and responsibilities also include education, evaluation and data collection within that region] service as defined in Section 721.2(d) of this Title.

(19) Perinatal affiliates shall mean Level I, Level II and Level III hospitals which have a current perinatal affiliation agreement with a specific RPC as defined in Section 721.11 of this Title.

[(d)](c) High-risk antepartum services at Level II[and], Level III and RPC perinatal [care programs] services.

(1) Level II [and], Level III and RPC perinatal [care programs]services shall develop and implement written policies and procedures to indicate where pregnant patients with obstetric, medical, or surgical complications are to be assigned to provide for their continuous observation and care.

(2) Maternal [special] intensive care services. (i) Hospitals providing Level I or II perinatal care [programs]services shall develop, enter into and implement written agreements with hospitals providing Level III and RPC perinatal care [programs]services for the transfer of obstetric patients whose physical conditions are evaluated as needing such higher level of care.

(ii) Hospitals which provide multiple levels of [maternal special] perinatal care services shall develop and implement written protocols and procedures for the in-house transfer of patients who are evaluated as requiring a level of care other than the level being provided in the area where the patient is currently located.

(iii) Evaluation of the patient's condition and need for [special] intensive care services shall be conducted in accordance with standardized risk assessment criteria based on generally accepted standards of practice which shall be adopted in writing and implemented uniformly throughout the [maternity] perinatal service.

(iv) [Perinatal care programs. Hospitals] Level II, Level III and RPC perinatal care services shall [(a)] maintain a nursing staff that is appropriately trained and adequate in size to provide specialized care to distressed mothers and infants. The number of patient care staff on duty during any shift shall reflect the volume and nature of patient services being provided during that shift [; and] .

[(b) a regional perinatal care center] (v) An RPC shall:

[(1)](a) offer education and training to [all hospitals] its perinatal affiliates and associated birth centers [in the region which provide maternity and newborn services]. Education and training shall be designed to update and enhance staff knowledge and familiarity with relevant procedures and technological advances;

[(2)](b) review, in conjunction with its perinatal affiliates, all cases of patients transferred to [the regional center] a higher level of care to determine whether such transfers were appropriate and accomplished according to established transfer agreements; and

[(3)](c) participate in case conferences with [hospitals]its perinatal affiliates and associated birth centers [in the region] to determine whether any non-transferred high risk cases [which resulted in a poor pregnancy outcome] were handled appropriately and whether the transfer guidelines were adequate to address such circumstances. For purposes of participation in such activities, the RPC representative or representatives shall be deemed member(s) of the affiliate’s quality assurance committee.

Newborns requiring extraordinary care shall be placed in a [special care nursery]NICU and hospitals shall develop and implement protocols for all phases of treatment of such newborns. Newborns [requiring extraordinary care] who are delivered in [Level 1] perinatal care [programs]services that are not capable of providing all necessary care and services shall be transferred to [Level III] perinatal care [programs]services at hospitals that can meet the newborns’ needs.

(h) [Neonatal special care services provided by Level II and III perinatal care facilities.

(1) Level III perinatal care facilities which provide neonatal special care services and are designated as regional perinatal care centers shall provide care and services in accord with the patient care provisions of section 708.5(f)(3) of this Title.] Neonatal intensive care services.

(1) Neonatal intensive care services shall be provided by Level II, Level III and RPC perinatal care hospitals.

(2) [Level II and III perinatal care facilities providing intensive and/or intermediate neonatal care but not designated as regional perinatal care centers shall provide care and services in accord with the patient care provisions of section 708.5(f)(4) and (5) of this Title. ] Decisions regarding the appropriate level of care and the need for transport of a neonate to a higher level of care shall be made consistent with generally accepted standards of care and the hospital’s perinatal affiliation agreement.

(3) Treatment of severely ill, injured, or handicapped infants with life-threatening conditions.

(i) Severely ill, injured or handicapped infants exhibiting life-threatening conditions shall be transferred to and/or treated at RPCs or other hospitals having Level III perinatal care [programs]services after consultation with that [program]service has established that the infant might benefit from such transfer.

721.2 Definitions

(a) Level I perinatal care service means a comprehensive maternal and newborn service provided by a hospital designated as such by the department for normal low-risk newborns and for women who have been assessed as having a normal, low-risk pregnancy and having a fetus which has been assessed as developing normally and without apparent complications.

(b) Level II perinatal care means a comprehensive maternal and newborn service provided by a hospital designated as such by the department which includes services for moderately high-risk newborns and for women who have been assessed as having the potential or likelihood for a moderately complicated or high-risk delivery and/or bearing a fetus exhibiting the potential for unusual or high-risk development. Such services may also provide services to women requiring care normally provided at Level I perinatal care services.

(c) Level III perinatal care means a comprehensive maternal and newborn service provided by a hospital designated as such by the department and which includes services for women and newborns who have been assessed as high-risk patients and/or are bearing high-risk fetuses, who will require a high level of specialized care. Such programs may also provide services to women and newborns requiring care normally provided at Level I and II perinatal care services; or

(d) Regional Perinatal Center (RPC) means a hospital or hospitals housing a perinatal care service which meets the standards for a Level III perinatal care service but which also, includes highly specialized services that may not be available at all Level III hospitals, and designated as such by the department. An RPC serves a geographic area or a group of perinatal affiliates. It provides all aspects of comprehensive maternal and neonatal care, and its functions and responsibilities also include efforts to coordinate and improve quality of perinatal care among its affiliates, attending level consultation regarding patient transfer and clinical management, transport of high-risk patients, outreach to affiliates to determine educational needs, education and training of affiliate hospitals, data collection, evaluation and analysis within that region. If two or more hospitals jointly sponsor an RPC, they must define in a written agreement between or among the hospitals comprising the RPC how the aforementioned functions and responsibilities will be carried out.

(e) Perinatal affiliation agreement shall mean a written agreement between a Level I, II or III perinatal care hospital, and that hospital’s designated RPC. A perinatal affiliation agreement shall include provisions for, at a minimum:

(1) criteria, policies and procedures for transfer of patients, with appropriate consent, to the RPC and from the RPC back to the sending hospital;

(2) criteria and process for consultation;

(3) participation in the statewide perinatal data system;

(4) cooperation in outreach, education, training and data collection activities; and

(5) authority for one geographically accessible RPC to participate in quality assurance/quality improvement reviews of the quality of the affiliate’s perinatal care with the RPC designating appropriate RPC staff to review and participate in quality assurance and quality improvement activities at the affiliate hospital site. For purposes of such review and participation, the RPC representative or representatives shall be deemed member(s) of the affiliate’s quality assurance committee;

(6) RPC involvement in the development of written agreements among perinatal affiliates including criteria regarding transport of women and newborns;

(7) timely consultation on treatment plans for women and neonates who develop or exhibit unanticipated conditions which may require transfer to a higher level of care;

(8) resolution of disputes or disagreements between the RPC and the perinatal affiliate, including disagreements regarding interpretation of affiliation agreement criteria for consultation and/or transfer. In cases of disputes or disagreement between an affiliate and its RPC, the affiliate and the RPC shall follow the dispute resolution process outlined in their perinatal affiliation agreement. If the dispute is not resolved within sixty days, the parties must request review by the department. The department shall initiate compliance reviews at both sites, advise each facility of its findings, and require corrective action, as indicated, to resolve the dispute. This process shall not interfere with the timely and proper transfer of mothers and newborns.

(f) Transfer agreement shall mean a written agreement between a Level I or II perinatal service and a Level III hospital for the transfer of patients requiring Level III care. Perinatal transfer agreements shall address the provision and/or coordination of all high-risk maternal and newborn transports. The agreements shall reflect the following:

(1) the maximum allowable surface travel time to reach a Level III or RPC hospital shall be two hours under usual weather and road conditions, and the receiving hospital shall be accessible and convenient to the mother’s place of residence whenever possible;

(2) mutually agreed criteria for determining when consultation and/or transfer is required;

(3) procedures and responsibility for arranging transport;

(4) requirement for 24-hour availability of appropriately qualified RPC medical staff to respond to calls from affiliates;

(5) policies for obtaining patient or parent/guardian consent for patient transfer and to exchange medical information;

(6) procedures for making arrangements for transfer to another hospital if the receiving hospital is unable to accept the transfer due to capacity/bed limitations;

(7) a provision that an emergency transport shall depart within thirty minutes of the request for transfer;

(8) provisions for the back transfer of newborns who no longer need Level III or RPC care but who need continuing care in a hospital located near their home communities shall be part of the perinatal affiliation and/or transfer agreements between two hospitals; and

(9) higher level hospitals shall inform referring hospitals of major changes in status of transferred patients, with patient’s consent.

(g) Definitions contained in section 405.21(b) of this Title shall apply to this Part.

721.3 Perinatal designation of hospitals.

(a) Perinatal services will be designated by the Commissioner based on the following:

(1) each hospital designated as a Level I, Level II or Level III hospital shall enter a written perinatal affiliation agreement with an RPC;

(2) the level of care currently provided by the hospital shall meet the definition, standards and criterion set forth in this Part for a Level I, Level II, Level III perinatal service or RPC;

(3) for level II, Level III and RPCs, the number of births and intensity of neonatal care at the hospital during the previous full calendar year must meet the following minimum volume standards:

(i) a Level II perinatal care hospital shall provide no fewer than 1,200 high risk newborn patient days annually, and no fewer than 150 high risk maternal patient days annually;

(ii) a Level III perinatal care hospital shall provide no fewer than 2,000 high risk newborn patient days annually, and no fewer than 250 high risk maternal patient days annually;

(iii) RPCs shall provide no fewer than 4,000 high risk newborn patient days annually, and no fewer than 400 high risk maternal patient days annually. An RPC shall provide quality assurance and improvement services to a group of perinatal affiliates with a minimum total of 8,000 births each year;

(4) the availability of appropriate medical, nursing, and other staffing as described in this Part supportive of the perinatal service at the hospital; and

(5) surface travel time for transfers. The surface travel time to reach a Level II hospital, a Level III hospital, or an RPC within the geographic area or affiliative perinatal network, under usual travel conditions shall be no more than two hours. Transfer decisions must be based on the appropriate level of perinatal care required, and care shall be provided at a hospital offering the appropriate level of care which is accessible and convenient to the mother’s place of residence whenever feasible.

(6) the geographic distribution of designated hospitals throughout the state to ensure access to appropriate levels of care throughout the state;

(7) such other additional information as the Commissioner may require to make the designation.

721.4 Patient care and patient transfers.

(a) Each hospital providing perinatal care services shall provide patient care in accordance with the following:

(1) A Level I perinatal care service hospital shall evaluate and stabilize all women and neonates.

(i) For patients needing a higher level of care, it shall consult with a higher level hospital and arrange for timely transfer to a Level III perinatal care service hospital or an RPC that provides the appropriate level of perinatal care.

(ii) For healthy women with an anticipated delivery at 36 weeks gestation or later and for healthy newborns with a birthweight of 2,500 grams or more, it shall provide continuing care until their discharge.

(iii) Except in unusual circumstances, smaller and more premature infants shall be delivered at higher level hospitals; if such an infant is born at a Level I perinatal care hospital, he/she shall be transferred promptly after birth.

Women and neonates who have relatively minor problems that do not require advanced laboratory, radiologic, or consultation services may remain in the Level I perinatal care hospital.

When it is known that the newborn may require immediate complex care, it shall be delivered at a Level III perinatal care hospital or an RPC whenever possible.

(vi) Level I perinatal care hospitals shall also provide care for convalescing babies who have been transferred from Level II, Level III and RPC perinatal care hospitals.

(2) A Level II perinatal care services hospital shall:

(i) perform the Level I perinatal care services described in paragraph (1) above and be capable of providing care for moderately high-risk women, fetuses and newborns and moderately ill women and newborns who have problems that do not require highly specialized care; and

(ii) stabilize ill women and newborns and women whose fetuses are expected to need complex care, consult with a higher level hospital and arrange for timely transfer to a hospital that provides the appropriate level of prenatal care.

(iii) Level II perinatal care hospitals are qualified to deliver infants with an anticipated delivery at 30 weeks gestation or later and with an anticipated birthweight of 1,250 grams or more.

(iv) Except in unusual circumstances, infants smaller and more premature than is described at subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph shall be delivered at Level III hospitals or RPCs. If an infant who is smaller or a lower gestational age than described in subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph is born at the Level II hospital, he/she shall be transferred promptly after birth.

(3) A Level III perinatal care services hospital shall:

(i) perform Level I and Level II perinatal care services described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subdivision and shall care for women, fetuses, and newborns who may require complex care.

(ii) stabilize ill women and newborns prior to transfer, including women whose newborns are expected to need the most complex care, consult with its designated RPC, and transfer if appropriate.

(iii) Women in unstable medical and/or obstetric situations shall be cared for at a Level III hospital or an RPC.

(4) Regional Perinatal Care Centers (RPC) shall perform Level I, Level II and Level III perinatal care services described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subdivision and shall also care for women, fetuses, and newborns who require highly specialized services not available at the Level III care hospital, such as sophisticated ventilation techniques (e.g., high-frequency ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation ), cardiac surgery or neurosurgery.

(b) Ventilation for distressed newborns. Resuscitation and ventilation of neonates who require cardiorespiratory assistance shall be performed at each Level of perinatal care and in the following ways:

(1) at a Level I perinatal care services hospital the ventilation of distressed newborns shall be immediate resuscitation after birth as appropriate, stabilization, and assisted ventilation of newborns until timely transfer to a hospital that provides a higher level of perinatal care;

(2) at a Level II perinatal care hospital the ventilation of a distressed newborn shall be as described in paragraph (1) above and, in addition, standard short-term mechanical ventilation. A Level II perinatal care hospital may care for infants requiring assisted ventilation and/or 50% or more oxygen for no more than four days. By the fourth day of a newborn’s receipt of assisted ventilation or oxygen at 50% or more, the Level II hospital shall consult with its designated RPC regarding the status of the newborn and determine whether to transfer the newborn to a higher level hospital. If after such consultation the neonate stays at the Level II hospital, that hospital may retain the neonate for no more than a total of seven days on assisted ventilation or oxygen at 50% and must then transfer the neonate to a Level III hospital or to an RPC.

(3) at Level III perinatal care services hospitals and RPCs the ventilation of a distressed newborn shall be as described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subdivision and, in addition, may also include long-term standard mechanical ventilation and complex ventilation techniques, such as high‑frequency ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

(2) When a newborn and/or mother requires transfer, care shall be provided at a hospital providing the appropriate level of perinatal care which is, whenever feasible, accessible and convenient to the mother’s place of residence. When mothers and their infants need different levels of care, efforts shall be made to keep the mother‑newborn dyad together. Level III hospitals and RPCs shall return a newborn to the sending hospital when the condition has been stabilized and return is medically appropriate.

721.5 Responsibilities and qualifications of chiefs of services at each designated level. The qualifications and responsibilities for each designated level shall be as follows:

(a) Level I perinatal care service. Care shall be coordinated jointly by the chiefs of obstetrics, pediatrics, family practice, nursing, anesthesia, and midwifery. For facilities that do not have chiefs of service in all such areas, each discipline shall have effective input in care coordination. The coordinators of perinatal care at a Level I perinatal care services hospital shall be responsible for developing policy, maintaining standards of care, and collaborating and consulting with professional staff of hospitals providing Level II and Level III perinatal care services and RPC perinatal care in the region. In hospitals that do not separate maternity and newborn services, one person may be given the responsibility for coordinating perinatal care;

(b) Level II perinatal care service. A board-certified obstetrician with special interest, experience, and expertise in maternal-fetal medicine shall be the chief of the obstetric service at a Level II care hospital. A full-time board-certified pediatrician with subspecialty certification in neonatal medicine or equivalent training and experience shall be the chief of the neonatal care services. These physicians shall jointly coordinate the hospital’s perinatal care services and, in conjunction with the chiefs of anesthesiology, nursing, midwifery, and family practice, and other patient care and administration staff, shall develop policies concerning staffing, procedures, equipment, and supplies; maintaining standards of care; and planning, developing, and coordinating in-hospital professional educational programs;

(c) Level III perinatal care services. The chief of the maternal-fetal medicine service at a hospital providing Level III perinatal care shall be a full-time, board-certified obstetrician with interest, experience and special competence in maternal-fetal medicine; subspecialty certification in maternal-fetal medicine is recommended. The director of a newborn intensive care service at a Level III hospital shall be a full-time, board-certified pediatrician with subspecialty certification in neonatal medicine. These physicians shall jointly coordinate the hospital’s perinatal care services in order to ensure provision of a comprehensive continuum of high quality care to mothers and newborns. In conjunction with the chiefs of anesthesiology, nursing, midwifery, and family practice, and other patient care and administrative staff, these physicians shall be responsible for developing policies concerning staffing, procedures, equipment, and supplies; maintaining standards of care; and planning, developing, and coordinating in-hospital professional educational programs;

(d) RPC care. The chief of the maternal-fetal medicine service at an RPC shall be a full-time, board-certified obstetrician with subspecialty certification in maternal-fetal medicine. The chief of a newborn intensive care service at an RPC shall be a full-time, board-certified pediatrician with subspecialty certification in neonatal medicine. These physicians shall jointly coordinate perinatal care services in order to ensure provision of a comprehensive continuum of high quality care to mothers and newborns. In conjunction with the chiefs of anesthesiology , nursing, midwifery, and family practice, and other patient care and administration staff, these physicians shall be responsible for developing policies concerning staffing, procedures, equipment, and supplies; maintaining standards of care; and planning, developing, and coordinating in-hospital professional educational programs. The chiefs of maternal-fetal medicine and neonatology will also be responsible for providing outreach and professional education programs, participating in the evaluation and improvement of perinatal care in the region, and coordinating the services provided at their hospital with those provided at Level I, Level II and Level III care hospitals in the region.

721.6 Qualifications and responsibilities of licensed obstetrical practitioners at each designated level of care. The qualifications and responsibilities of licensed obstetrical practitioners at each designated level of care shall be:

(a) Level I perinatal care: A physician or licensed midwife with appropriate training and expertise shall attend all deliveries. At least one person capable of initiating neonatal resuscitation shall be present at every delivery. An ultrasound machine shall be readily available to labor and delivery. A radiologist or obstetrician skilled in interpretation of ultrasound scans shall be available within 20 minutes;

(b) Level II perinatal care: A physician or licensed midwife with appropriate training and expertise shall attend all deliveries. At least one person capable of initiating neonatal resuscitation shall be present at every delivery. An ultrasound machine shall be readily available to labor and delivery. A radiologist or obstetrician skilled in interpretation of ultrasound scans shall be available 24 hours a day within a timeframe appropriate to meet the patient’s needs. Portable, neonatal-appropriate equipment and appropriately trained personnel to administer the service must be available within a timeframe appropriate to meet the patient’s needs. Care for moderately high-risk women and neonates shall be provided by appropriately qualified physicians. General pediatricians and general obstetricians with the expertise to assume responsibility for acute care for infants and women, shall be immediately available within 20 minutes, 24 hours a day to provide needed services. The chief of obstetric anesthesia services shall be board-certified in anesthesia and shall have training and experience in obstetric anesthesia. A neonatologist shall be available within a timeframe appropriate to meet the patient’s needs 24 hours a day . The hospital staff shall also include a radiologist skilled in interpretation of ultrasound scans, a clinical pathologist , personnel qualified to administer specialized pharmaceutical services to newborns, and a designated, in-house credentialed person for neonatal resuscitation, all of whom shall be available 24 hours a day. Personnel with credentials to administer obstetric anesthesia shall be readily available. Specialized adult and pediatric medical and surgical consultation shall be readily available;

(c) Level III and RPC perinatal care: A physician or licensed midwife with appropriate training and expertise shall attend all deliveries. At least one person capable of initiating neonatal resuscitation should be present at every delivery. An ultrasound machine shall be readily available to labor and delivery. A radiologist, obstetrician or maternal-fetal medicine specialist skilled in interpretation of ultrasound scans shall be available in-house 24 hours a day. Portable, neonatal-appropriate equipment and appropriately trained personnel to administer the service must be available within a timeframe appropriate to meet the patient’s needs. Maternal-fetal medicine specialists and neonatologists who care for high risk mothers and newborns in the Level III or RPC hospital shall have qualifications equivalent to those of the chief of their service as described in section 721.5(c) and (d) of the Title. A maternal-fetal medicine specialist and a neonatologist shall be readily available for consultation 24 hours a day. Obstetric and neonatal diagnostic imaging, provided by radiologists with special expertise in diagnosis of maternal and neonatal disease and its complications, shall be available 24 hours a day. Pediatric and adult subspecialists in cardiology, neurology, hematology, genetics, nephrology, metabolism, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nutrition, radiology, infectious diseases, pulmonology, immunology, and pharmacology shall be available for consultation. In addition, pediatric surgeons and pediatric surgical subspecialists, e.g., cardiovascular, neurological, orthopedic, ophthalmologic, urologic, and otolaryngological surgeons, shall be available for consultation and care. Pathologists with special competence in placental, fetal, and neonatal disease shall be members of the Level III or regional perinatal center staff. A clinical pathologist shall be available 24 hours a day. A board-certified anesthesiologist with special training or experience in maternal-fetal anesthesia shall be in charge of obstetric anesthesia services at a Level III or regional perinatal center facility, and personnel with credentials in the administration of obstetric anesthesia shall be available for all deliveries. Personnel with credentials in the administration of neonatal and pediatric anesthesia shall be readily available as needed. Personnel qualified to prepare, dispense and administer specialized pharmaceutical services to newborns shall be available 24 hours a day.

721.7 Nursing Care. In addition to providing nursing care that meets generally accepted professional standards, hospitals shall meet the following additional nursing requirements at each designated level of care.

(a) Level I perinatal care service hospital. Maternal and newborn nursing care shall be provided under the direct supervision of a registered nurse. All obstetric nursing personnel shall be qualified in interpretation of fetal heart rate monitoring and understand the physiology of labor. All newborn nursing personnel shall be qualified in assessment of the newborn and all aspects of routine monitoring and care, including education and support related to breastfeeding.

(b) Level II care hospital. In addition to the qualifications described in subdivision (a) of this section, direct patient care shall be provided by registered nurses who have education or experience in the care of moderately high-risk women and/or newborns. All nurses caring for ill women or newborns shall possess demonstrated knowledge in the observation and treatment of such patients, including cardiorespiratory monitoring. Registered nurses in a Level II perinatal care hospital shall be able to: monitor and support the stability of cardiopulmonary, neurologic, metabolic, and thermal functions; assist with special procedures such as lumbar puncture, endotracheal intubation, and umbilical catheterization; and perform emergency resuscitation.

(c) Level III perinatal care hospital. Responsibilities of registered nurses shall include those defined in subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section. In addition, registered nurses in the Level III perinatal care hospital shall have specialty certification or advanced training and experience in the nursing management of high-risk women, neonates and their families. They shall also be experienced in caring for unstable women and neonates with multi-organ system problems and in specialized care technology. An advanced practice nurse shall be available to the staff for consultation and support on nursing care issues. Assessment and monitoring activities shall remain the responsibility of a registered nurse or advanced practice nurse in obstetric-neonatal nursing, even when personnel with a mixture of skills are used;

(d) RPC. Responsibilities of registered nurses shall include those defined in subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) of this section. In addition, nurses with special training shall participate in regional perinatal center responsibilities such as outreach, training, education and support.

721.8 Ancillary personnel. The ancillary personnel requirements for each designated level are as follows:

(a) All designated Level I, II, III perinatal care services and RPCs shall have:

(1) an organized plan of action that includes personnel and equipment for identification and immediate resuscitation of newborns and mothers requiring cardiorespiratory assistance;

(2) personnel who are capable of determining blood type, cross-matching blood, and performing antibody testing and who are available on a 24-hour basis;

(3) infection control personnel responsible for surveillance of infections in women and neonates, as well as for the development of an appropriate environmental control program;

(4) a radiologic technician available 24 hours a day to perform imaging;

(5) at least one staff member with expertise in lactation and breastfeeding management responsible for the hospital’s breastfeeding support program, as described in section 405.21(f)(3)(i) of this Title;

(6) at least one staff member with expertise in bereavement responsible for the hospital’s bereavement activities, including a systematic approach to ensuring that individuals in need receive such services;

(7) at least one qualified social worker available who has experience with the socioeconomic and psychosocial problems of pregnant women, ill neonates, and their families assigned to the perinatal service. Additional qualified social workers sufficient to meet the needs of women and newborns are required when there is a high volume of medical activity or psychosocial need;

(8) licensed practical nurses and other licensed patient care staff with demonstrated knowledge and clinical competence in the nursing care of women, fetuses, and newborns during labor, delivery, and the postpartum and neonatal periods.

(9) The need for other support personnel shall depend on the intensity and level of sophistication of the other support services provided and shall be sufficient to meet the needs of the patients.

(b) Additional requirements for Level II, Level III perinatal care services and RPC designation:

(1) at least one occupational or physical therapist with neonatal expertise;

(2) at least one registered dietician/nutritionist who has special training in perinatal nutrition and can plan diets that meet the special needs of high-risk women and neonates;

(3) appropriate and adequate numbers of the nursing staff who are trained in breastfeeding support for mothers and infants with special needs;

(4) qualified personnel for support services, such as laboratory studies, radiologic studies, and ultrasound examinations, who are available 24 hours a day; and

(5) respiratory therapists or nurses with special training who can supervise the assisted ventilation of neonates with cardiopulmonary disease.

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