A Q&A with Dr. Seth Brody
Executive Medical Director of the Women’s Hospital at WakeMed North
Dr. Seth Brody serves as the executive medical director for the Women’s Hospital at WakeMed North Family Health & Women’s Hospital in partnership with Sheri De Shazo, RN, the hospital’s vice president and administrator. Dr. Brody has been a member of the WakeMed team since 1996, serving in a wide variety of leadership, quality and teaching roles both within WakeMed and at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has delivered thousands of babies throughout his career. Below, Dr. Brody answers our questions and discusses WakeMed North, including the life mission that he and his team share – to deliver happy, healthy babies while caring for and supporting birthing mothers throughout the entire labor and delivery process.
To begin, what message do you have for expectant mothers?
To all expectant mothers, we understand that the day you have your baby is one of the most important days in your life. Our healthcare team is here to care for you and support you throughout the entire process. This is our passion, and we feel extremely privileged to be able to share this experience with you and your family. Why did you choose obstetrics as your career (i.e. what warms your heart about this field)? Childbirth is one of the most powerful moments in one’s life. Being able to share in that moment and provide excellent care and support to women and their families during such an important life event is truly an honor and privilege.
What is unique about WakeMed North?
The hospital and its providers will provide the highest quality and safe care to our patients, all in a warm and nurturing hotel-like environment. Importantly, this will now be brought directly and conveniently to the community of northern Wake County. The hospital’s environment will be impressive. Not only will the building be brand new, but it will have a hotel-like quality to it – beautiful décor, large and spacious rooms that are warm and comforting through the colors and art we have chosen, and there will are many windows which will let in a lot of natural light to help with the healing process. Additionally, we are working to create a specific family-centered culture. Our people – doctors, nurses, leaders, techs and other care team members – are being selected for their ability to provide outstanding, top-notch care and for their warmth, compassion and dedication to our primary vision: the patient always comes first. All of our obstetrical hospitalists and nursing staff will have a strong belief in this vision.
What is the OB Hospitalist Model?
The OB Hospitalist Model is when a group of board-certified obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) – we call them obstetric (OB) hospitalists – cover the hospital for Labor & Delivery, Labor & Delivery Triage and emergency visits related to obstetrics and gynecology, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Around the clock coverage is key. The purpose is to provide outstanding quality and safe care to mothers and babies at all times. The fact that our OB hospitalists are always in the hospital, and that they are part of the same core group, provides an elevated level of safety. Additionally, they have the ability and high-level skill-set to manage a mother’s care from the time she delivers, through post-partum and discharge. Meet our team of OB hospitalists here.
Does the OB hospitalist replace a mother’s regular OB/GYN doctor?
No, not at all, but they will serve as an extension of the OB/GYN practices in the community and partner in care. Our OB hospitalists are always available to deliver a baby, for example, if a woman does not have a regular doctor, is in from out town and goes into labor, or if her own doctor is not able to reach the hospital in time or is occupied otherwise. But a woman’s regular OB/GYN can deliver her baby here, just like at any other acute care hospital, if he or she has the privileges to do so. In fact, we encourage all of our community OB/GYNs to deliver their patients' babies here in our tranquil, safe environment. If they need assistance at any time, for medical or surgical reasons, they will always have the support of our OB Hospitalist team.
How does the OB Hospitalist Model enhance the level of care the hospital is able to provide?
Emergency coverage is very important. If a laboring mother experiences any type of urgent issue and her doctor has not yet been able to reach the hospital, or is occupied providing care elsewhere, we always have an OB hospitalist here ready to help, all being done while in direct communication with the patient’s regular doctor. The ability to respond immediately to obstetrical emergencies can lead to improved outcomes for both mother and baby.
Beyond the safeguards to emergency situations, some studies have also shown that OB Hospitalist care can lead to a less cesarean sections, decreased frequency of induction of labor, and lower preterm birth rates. Our OB hospitalists are also here to assist private practice OB/GYNs if they should need the support. This simply adds another level of safety. We work as an extension of the private practices, providing seamless care in cooperation with those practices and in direct communication with those doctors. The OB Hospitalist and private practice OB partnership is a wonderful opportunity which will enable us to offer the highest level of safety and comfort in-house 24/7, holidays and weekends.
Additionally, because they are always here as dedicated, permanent team members, our OB hospitalists can each keep a finger on the pulse of what is going on at the hospital. If changes or adjustments need to be made that could directly and efficiently impact the quality of care we provide our patients, our OB hospitalists are here to notice these things and help make enhancements, all in the name of offering the highest level of patient care possible.
Is the OB Hospitalist Model new to WakeMed?
OB hospitalists, although a new concept in this market by name, have been around for many years. In fact, many women who come to our WakeMed Raleigh Campus, and do not have an OB physician, deliver unexpectedly or have high-risk complicating factors such as multiple pregnancy, preeclampsia, etc. are provided outstanding care by our group of WakeMed Ob/Gyn physicians, including Maternal Fetal Medicine physicians, that cover the hospital 24/7, 365 days a year, all while teaching and supervising medical students and residents as well. Amongst other duties, they also provide all emergent gynecologic care and assist private practice OB GYNs when necessary with their care. So, the OB Hospitalist model has been a strong foundation of how WakeMed provides top notch, safe obstetrical care to both low- and high-risk mothers in our community for decades.
For WakeMed North, we have simply extended this concept in a more defined way, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to deliver more babies, support more mothers through the delivery and post-partum process and offer the highest level of care possible to entire families.
How many OB hospitalists will you have on staff?
Seven - learn more about them here.
What is their experience level?
All of our OB hospitalists will be board-certified obstetricians with several years of experience beyond their medical training. They will all possess the ability to work in multiple settings and will have the commitment to our mission and vision – superior quality and safety, and patient-centered care. They will all find value in working as part of a team and have an excellent track record with patient satisfaction as well. Most importantly, their life’s work is built around delivering babies and caring for birthing mothers as they experience one of the most important events of their lives.
How will your OB hospitalists work in partnership with community OB/GYNs?
We will do a lot of community outreach – visiting community OB/GYN offices and meeting with their providers personally. We will keep an open line of communication with all community practices and let them know we are here to help and support them and their patients. We all serve Wake County and surrounding community.
Is a mother at a disadvantage if an OB Hospitalist she has never met ends up delivering her baby?
It is now fairly common for a laboring mother not to know the doctor who is delivering her baby. It happens frequently because of cross-coverage for on-call responsibilities among OB/GYN practices or within large private practices where many different doctors share on-call duty. What matters is that a mother has an experienced OB hospitalist, backed by a highly skilled nursing and care team, whose sole purpose is helping her deliver a happy, healthy baby in the safest way possible and in a nurturing way. Our partnership with community OB/GYNs will offer expectant mothers many opportunities to meet the OB Hospitalist team and visit WakeMed North to better understand what to expect while in our care. A mother really could not be in better hands, as we all dedicate our lives to delivering babies and caring for birthing mothers.
How can someone learn more about your OB Hospitalist before becoming a patient at WakeMed North?
We will host “Meet the OB Hospitalist” events at our hospital so that local residents have an opportunity to visit and chat with our doctors one-on-one. We will also post full biographies and photos of each of our OB Hospitalist on our website. Private practice doctors will have a lot of information to share with patients about our hospitalists, and we are also considering virtual/online chats with our doctors.
What can you tell us about the care you will offer for newborns?
WakeMed North will offer fantastic newborn care. Our six-bed, Level III Special Care Nursery will be backed by the same expert neonatal team that covers the WakeMed Raleigh Campus Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), 24 hours a day/7 days a week and 365 days per year. Our nursery will offer private rooms to coincide with our commitment to patient- and family-centered care. And if there is any type of high-risk situation beyond which we can manage, we have the team and equipment readily available to transfer a baby to the WakeMed Raleigh Campus NICU quickly and safely.
How can a patient deliver at your hospital?
We are happy to partner with all community OB/GYN private practices and encourage mothers to ask their private doctors if they have privileges to work with us. If not, we are eager to hear from them. We would be thrilled to partner with them and help care for their expectant mothers.