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PeriGen Congratulates Barbara LaBranche Named a

Health Data Management’s EHR Game Changers Award Winner

LaBranche supported innovative use of electronic data to help dramatically reduce unnecessary early-term deliveries at 19 Banner Health sites

CRANBURY, New Jersey ─ January 6, 2014 PeriGen, the global leader in applying real-time clinical decision support to perinatal systems, wishes to congratulate Barbara LaBranche, MBA, BSN, R.N., Senior Director of Clinical Informatics Design and Usability at Banner Health, on being honored as one of four award winners of Health Data Management’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) Game Changers Program.  In its fourth year, the magazine’s recognition program honors individuals who have been true game changers in the design, advocacy, deployment and development of EHR technology.

The award recognizes LaBranche’s co-leadership of a “hard stop” best practice initiative that successfully reduced elective deliveries of babies at less than 39 weeks by 22 percent in the first six months across 19 facilities. Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit healthcare systems in the country.

Avoiding unnecessary early-term deliveries is a best practice advocated by obstetrical professional organizations and national quality organizations. Research demonstrates that elective deliveries before 39 weeks increase the risk of newborn respiratory problems and length of hospital stay for mothers and babies.  Moreover, a report issued by the Institute of Medicine in 2007 found that the annual societal economic costs — medical, educational, and lost productivity — associated with preterm birth were at least $26.2 billion.

LaBranche supported the use of timely and most medically relevant information to help Banner Health clinicians make knowledge-driven decisions safeguarding mothers and their babies. The health system used both historical and real-time data gathered from PeriGen’s PeriBirth® EHR system designed specifically for OB care.

The captured data helped the health system establish a baseline and monitor ongoing compliance of the new protocol across 19 hospitals. As a result of this quality initiative, an additional 2,600 more babies per year are being delivered at term at Banner Health facilities.

“To obtain the results Banner Health has achieved in just six months is extraordinary,” said PeriGen CEO Matthew Sappern. “Thanks to Barbara’s leadership, Banner Health is testament that a large-scale healthcare organization can evaluate their current state in the scope of necessitating medical practice change and develop tools to effectively perform, manage and shorten the time to drive and achieve healthier outcomes for their patients within months. “We congratulate both Barbara and Banner Health for their success in using data-driven, evidence-based practices to advocate delivery of full-term healthier infants.”

Implementing Evidence-based Best Practice Enterprise-wide

An organization recognized nationally for using technology to improve care quality, Banner Health leveraged its established system of clinical performance groups (CPGs) to drive this initiative. LaBranche provided clinical and nursing perspective to the CPG.  Once the group identified elective deliveries before 39 weeks as its target standard, clinicians and staff members developed a process that could be deployed enterprise-wide to evaluate the medical necessity of such a delivery before scheduling a patient for an early induction or cesarean section.

A key step in the protocol’s implementation was to pull several years of historical data from PeriBirth into an enterprise data warehouse. LaBranche was able to identify pertinent documentation fields to pull from for data accuracy.  From this data, the team was able to pinpoint each hospital’s current and historical rate of elective deliveries before 39 weeks and gaps in documentation. The CPG was able to establish a baseline for measuring future performance and to identify which hospitals would require more education and attention.

As the health system implemented the new protocol, PeriBirth played a key role in helping the CPG track each facility’s and provider’s compliance.

Banner Health now uses a dashboard for monitoring this perinatal standard. The dashboard extracts data from PeriBirth and its reporting tool nightly to give clinicians and administrators near real-time information. The data outcomes enable OB managers to review and compare compliance with quality measures at the system, facility, unit and physician level.

About Banner Health

Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health is one of the largest, nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system manages 23 acute-care hospitals, the Banner Health Network and Banner Medical Group, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services including family clinics, home care and hospice services, and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit

About PeriGen, Inc.

PeriGen, Inc., is an innovative provider of fetal surveillance systems employing patented, pattern-recognition and obstetrics technologies that empower perinatal clinicians to make confident, real-time decisions about the mothers and babies in their care. PeriGen’s customer-centric team of clinicians and technologists builds the most advanced systems available to augment obstetric decision-making and improve communications among the clinical team at the point of care, while supporting data flow between healthcare IT systems.  PeriGen is a KLAS® recognized leader in the obstetrics/perinatal space is offers the only EFM pattern recognition system that is validated by the NICHD. For more information, please visit us at