Remove the Guesswork with Renown’s Labor Assessment Area

By: Alana Ridge

November 09, 2022

A section of Renown’s Labor Assessment Area, including a bed and computer.

Pictured above: A section of Renown’s Labor Assessment Area. 

When patients expecting a new child are about to give birth, nerves can be especially heightened. Questions flood their minds: Is the baby actually on the way? What’s going to happen next? Are we ready to push?  

Lucky for them, at Renown Health, the guesswork can finally end with Renown’s Labor & Delivery unit Labor Assessment Area. This unique space is a triage area that helps make more precise labor diagnoses by determining exactly what stage expectant parents are at in the labor process. 

Funded by a state grant more than a decade ago, the six-bed Labor Assessment Area sees 500-600 patients per month – from patients entering the unit directly, unsure if they are in active labor, to patients who are sent over from elsewhere experiencing labor symptoms, such as high blood pressure and water breaking. The area also serves as a pre-operation space for patients getting ready for procedures such as C-sections. The six cubicles that are enclosed with doors and curtains ensure each patient gets the private, one-on-one care they need. Furthermore, rather than sitting in a waiting room, this area allows expectant parents a comfortable place to prepare for labor. 

“We are a unit that prides ourselves on getting patients into beds very quickly,” said Debbie Hawley, Associate Nurse Manager in Renown’s Labor & Delivery unit. “This area has allowed us to triage more effectively and allow more patients to collaborate with their provider in a quick manner.”  The Labor Assessment Area is equipped with the same state-of-the-art technology that is used in individual labor and delivery rooms, including 3D ultrasound machines, fetal monitoring devices, gynecological gurneys and all supplies needed to deliver a baby. The Labor & Delivery team also uses the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) Maternal Fetal Triage Index tool. This tool helps prioritize a patient’s care, which is calculated from maternal and fetal vital signs as well as the reason they are presenting to L&D. With a nurse always staffed in the area using the technology at their fingertips, guesswork is no longer a worry, and both patients and newborns are in especially good hands with individualized care. 

“Without this area, our labor rooms would be filled virtually all the time,” said Debbie Hawley. “The impact of this area on our patients is tremendous.” 

Get a virtual tour of Renown’s Labor Assessment Area here.
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