Optimal maternal and neonatal outcomes and associated hospital characteristics

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BackgroundThis study aims to examine hospital variation in both maternal and neonatal morbidities and identify institutional characteristics associated with hospital performance in a combined measure of maternal and neonatal outcomes.MethodsUsing the California Linked Birth File containing data from birth certificate and hospital discharge records, we identified 1 322 713 term births delivered at 248 hospitals during 2010-2012. For each hospital, a risk-standardized rate of severe maternal morbidities and a risk-standardized rate of severe newborn morbidities were calculated after adjusting for patient clinical risk factors. Hospitals were ranked based on combined information on their maternal and newborn morbidity rates.ResultsRisk-standardized severe maternal and severe newborn morbidity rates varied substantially across hospitals (10th to 90th percentile range = 67.5-148.2 and 141.8-508.0 per 10 000 term births, respectively), although there was no significant association between the two (P = 0.15). Government hospitals (non-Federal) were more likely than other hospitals to be in worse rank quartiles (P value for trend = 0.004), whereas larger volume was associated with better rank among hospitals in the first three quartiles (P = 0.004). The most prevalent morbidities that differed progressively across hospital rank quartiles were severe hemorrhage, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and heart failure during procedure/surgery for mothers, and severe infection, respiratory complication, and shock/resuscitation for neonates.ConclusionsHospitals with low maternal morbidity rates may not have low neonatal morbidity rates and vice versa, highlighting the importance of assessing joint maternal-newborn outcomes in order to fully characterize a hospital's obstetrical performance. Hospitals with smaller volume and government ownership tend to have less desirable outcomes and warrant additional attention in future quality improvement efforts.

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