The Importance of a Hospital with an Emergency OB Department


Why is an OB Emergency department important in choosing a hospital?

Many expecting moms want to know if the hospital they choose for delivery has access to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), but they should also be asking who provides around-the-clock emergency care if a pregnancy emergency arises.

Mercy Medical Center's Emergency OB Department

This past fall, Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines became the first hospital in Iowa to offer a 24/7 OB Emergency Department (OB ED).

Other hospitals in Iowa offer laborists to provide 24/7 OB care or may even send patients to the general emergency department, but Mercy has a special department dedicated to women who are 14 weeks or more gestation and present with emergency symptoms related to their pregnancy.

Each patient is seen by the OB hospitalist on call within 30 minutes of arrival. The OB hospitalist is dedicated to providing care to patients in the OB ED, but will also be available to assist with emergency deliveries when needed. The OB ED and Antepartum Unit is located on the 3rd Floor in the East Tower of Mercy’s central campus.

To provide this unique service to our patients and our community, Mercy partnered with OB Hospitalist Group (OBHG), the largest dedicated OB/GYN hospitalist group in the United States. The new OB ED’s mission is to elevate the standard of women’s health care by ensuring every expectant mother is evaluated and treated by a physician regardless of time, location, complication, or circumstance.

The OB Emergency Department is open at Mercy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Patients are evaluated within 30 minutes of being admitted. In the event your physician is not available, OB/GYN hospitalists will examine you, evaluate the progress of your labor, and review test results and fetal heart rate tracings. They will address any evolving issues and provide you and your baby with a safe delivery.

Due to their primary focus of hospital-based treatment, hospitalists are experts at providing emergent care and are on-site if an emergency occurs. Mercy’s OB hospitalists will be in communication with your physician and will have access to your prior medical records.

Mercy Medical Center's Emergency OB Department

What is a Hospitalist?

If your physician is unavailable or delayed reaching the hospital, a board certified OB/ GYN hospitalist can provide medical expertise and patient care, as well as answer any questions you or your family may have. Mercy’s OB hospitalists are highly skilled in a variety of delivery techniques. In addition to being board certified, the OB/ GYN hospitalists at Mercy are required to maintain high levels of clinical performance and professional standards.

Hospitalists may have access to your medical records from your OB provider, and will provide a full report to your provider upon your discharge, if you desire. The OB/GYN hospitalists place a high value on maintaining communication with other professionals including your OB provider, medical and surgical consultants at Mercy, discharge planners, social workers, and clergy.

Being hospital-based, the OB/GYN hospitalists will be on-site to visit you, monitor progress, or answer your questions or those of your family. OB/GYN hospitalists can expedite care for you and can easily facilitate connections with providers of home health care, skilled nursing, specialized rehabilitation, and others.

The Best Care for YOU and YOUR baby

You want the best care for you and your baby and so does Mercy! Mercy Women & Infants’ Center is committed to providing excellent patient care and delivering the best outcome possible with every patient encounter. If you are referred here by your provider, he or she will make sure the OB/GYN hospitalist on-site has your complete medical records.

The OB/GYN hospitalist caring for you in your doctor’s absence will deliver a complete treatment report to your doctor so your continued treatment is thorough and consistent. The OBHG Hospitalist Program is a key component in elevating the standard of women’s health care and increasing patient safety and satisfaction of women, newborns, and their families.

If you have any questions about the OB ED at Mercy, visit or call (515) 358-3100.

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Mercy Medical Center's Emergency OB Department

This sponsored post is brought to you in collaboration with Mercy Des Moines. Mercy is dedicated to providing a remarkable birthing experience for moms and their partners.


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