Selecting top quality hospitals for maternal care

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Healthcare consumers tend to do their research along their care journey, and use objective information about quality outcomes to inform their decisions. To help consumers evaluate and compare hospital performance, Healthgrades recently announced the recipients of the 2017 Gynecologic Surgery Excellence Award™, the 2017 Labor and Delivery Excellence Award™ and the 2017 Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award™. The awards recognize exceptional hospitals across the country that have demonstrated superior outcomes in women’s healthcare services. 

Quality information about hospitals has proven to be very valuable to consumers, and are one of the key indicators they use to evaluate their choices for physicians and hospitals. Consumers can leverage the release of this new information to be their own maternal care advocate and confidently navigate choices for care. Here’s how:

Knowing your hospital’s quality outcomes

Healthgrades analyzed patient outcome data for all patients (all-payer data) made available by 17 individual states from 2013 through 2015. These data were used to identify the highest performing hospitals in women’s health, revealing variation in quality between hospitals distinguished as Healthgrades award recipients and hospitals that were not. Learn more about the 2017 award recipients.

Being your own maternal care advocate

To coincide with the release of the 2017 Women’s Care Award recipients list, Healthgrades also published a related report that includes the results of an analysis that indicates a decline in the number of cesarean section (C-section) births from 2011 to 2015. These findings converge with recent efforts by professional medical organizations, federal and state government, and individual hospitals to reduce the number of annual C-section deliveries nationwide. Experts say that if you are considering a hospital for which such data is not available, women should request this information from the hospital itself—including its rate of C-section delivery compared to the HHS target goal of 23.9%.

Delivering a baby is one of the most personal and consequential health experiences a woman can have. Women (and their partners) should feel empowered to know the facts before they choose a hospital for their labor and delivery.

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