Birth Center Outcomes Reported Through Automated Technology

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BirthCare HealthCare is a multidisciplinary health care clinic and freestanding birth center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Highlights of a woman's labor assessment and birth outcomes are summarized in a paper birth log. The authors developed a relational database that facilitates efficient outcomes reporting. Examples of outcomes from this database are reported.ObjectivesThis study describes clinical outcomes from a freestanding birth center and the automated birth log database used to manage outcomes reporting.DesignRetrospective data obtained primarily from a paper birth log and secondarily from the paper chart were entered into and extracted from an electronic database.Participants231 women who were evaluated in 269 encounters for delivery at the birth center between July 1, 1997, and June 30, 1999.Main Clinical Outcome MeasuresThe number of deliveries at the birth center; the percentage of intrapartum, postpartum, and newborn transfers to the inpatient hospital setting; cause-specific transfer rates; method of transfer; medication in labor; low and high birth weights; percentage of low Apgar scores; and average times from admission to birth and birth to discharge.ConclusionBirth center clinical outcomes can be efficiently reported using an automated birth log. Clinical outcomes reported in this study are consistent with finding of previous research that demonstrates that birth centers are a safe alternative site for delivery.

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