The EMS Board is the State entity responsible for the evaluation and regulation of all emergency medical services as well as the designation and verification of hospitals to be Perinatal and Neonatal Specialty Referral Centers. Specialty referral centers can receive interfacility transports.
The role of MIEMSS is to, with the approval of the EMS Board, designate and verify hospitals to be specialty referral centers. We verify each hospital’s compliance with the specialty care standards and evaluate their appropriateness and capability to provide specialty care services according to the designation standards by reviewing an application that is submitted to MIEMSS and then conducting an on-site review. MIEMSS will reverify each specialty referral center every 5 years.
In 1997, MIEMSS incorporated the Level III, Level III+ and Level IV Perinatal Standards from the Maryland Perinatal System Standards from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) in to regulations for the purpose of maternal-neonatal transports. MIEMSS began the designation process for the Level IV Perinatal Centers. Hospital designation site visits for Level IV centers were on December 14-15, 2000. Site visits for all centers were completed in 2003.
We have a review team that is comprised of MIEMSS staff, two members of the MDH staff and out of state specialty care physicians. As members of the review team, we familiarize ourselves with each hospital’s application and the designation standards, inspect the hospital’s physical plant, interview the team members and management personal and examine the perinatal documents which will include patient care records and protocol manuals. Perinatal Referral Centers are designated as Level III.
We have adopted the MDH Perinatal System Standards as the standards that we use as a part of COMAR. Current regulations are available on the Internet at: http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/subtitle_chapters/30_Chapters.aspx.
COMAR Title 30 Subtitle 08 refers to the regulations that apply to the designation of specialty referral centers. Chapter 12 regulations are specific to the perinatal and neonatal centers.
Each perinatal center must comply with the perinatal system standards. Determining that a center is in compliance with the appropriate standards is part of the verification process. The designation can be either provisional or full. A full designation is for a period not to exceed 5 years.
MIEMSS has enforcement powers and may take appropriate disciplinary action if an investigation determines that a specialty referral center has violated the regulations. Disciplinary action could include requiring corrective action, placing a referral center on probation, lowering a center’s level of designation, or suspending or revoking the designation.
For more information about Perinatal Programs at MIEMSS, please call the Office of Perinatal Programs at (410) 706-3931.