Flowers Hospital confirmed in a written statement Monday that the hospital will discontinue inpatient pediatric services in December.
The change, according to the statement, is in response to how area families use those services.
“Our local medical community has done a tremendous job caring for pediatric patients and are often able to offer treatment options outside of an inpatient hospital setting,” Flowers Hospital CEO Jeff Brannon said in the statement. “Given the steady numbers of children requiring emergency and outpatient care, we believe we should devote more resources in those areas."
Flowers Hospital regularly evaluates how to best serve its patients, including continuous reviews of what services are most needed in the community, according to the statement.
The Dothan hospital has seen a shift in pediatrics in recent years with more children needing emergency and outpatient services such as same-day surgery, diagnostic tests and imaging studies rather than an overnight stay in the hospital. So, the decision was made to focus on pediatric emergency and outpatient services.
“The hospital will maintain a strong commitment to providing high-quality emergency and outpatient services for children,” the statement read.
Flowers Hospital provides numerous services such as surgical and emergency services, vascular care, digestive health, women’s health and maternity care, which includes the hospital’s labor and delivery, nursery and neonatal intensive care unit.
Pediatric care encompasses children from birth up to age 18.
Brannon said the hospital is still committed to caring for children and will maintain its relationships with hospitals that specialize in pediatrics.
"We continue to maintain our strong, long-term relationships with other facilities that specialize in children’s care, including Children’s of Alabama, USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, and Sacred Heart Hospital, and we want our local families to know that we are, and will continue to be, committed to caring for the children of our community,” Brannon said.