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Best-Performing Hospitals Have Far Fewer Complications

January 03, 2011

North Florida Regional Receives Excellence Recognition in HealthGrades® 2010/2011 Maternity Care Report

Gainesville, FL –   North Florida Regional Healthcare has announced a 5-star rating from HealthGrades® for clinical excellence for the maternity care provided at New Beginnings in The Women’s Center of North Florida Regional Healthcare.  The 5-star quality rating from HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings company, indicates clinical performance is higher than expected.  This is the second year in a row the program has received a 5-Star rating. 

"We are very excited to have received a five-star rating from HealthGrades," says Julie Samples, ARNP, Assistant Chief Nursing Officer.  "This is the second year in a row that we have received this prestigious award, and to be nationally recognized just reaffirms the outstanding work our medical team does each day to provide the very best care for our maternity patients."

Complication rates for vaginal and C-section deliveries can vary widely from one hospital to the next, according to a study by HealthGrades.  The study found that best-performing hospitals had fewer maternal complications among women who had vaginal births compared to poor-performing hospitals. These same hospitals had 74 percent fewer complications among women who had C-sections when compared to poor performers.

“The HealthGrades study shows that hospitals can differ dramatically in terms of maternity outcomes, even as complication rates overall continue to decline over time,” says Rick May, MD, a vice president with HealthGrades and co-author of the study. “The good news for women and their families is that objective data exists to help them understand this variation and find the best hospital in which to deliver their baby.”

As part of the study, HealthGrades rated each of 1,546 hospitals in 19 states with a 1, 3 or 5-star rating based on the following four factors:  maternal complication rate among women undergoing single live-born vaginal or C-section deliveries; maternal complication rate among women undergoing “patient-choice” or non-clinically indicated C-sections; newborn volume adjusted for low birth weight; newborn mortality rate stratified into eight birth weight categories

Hospitals receiving a 5-star rating were among the top 15 percent of hospitals in the 19 states studied. Comparing these 5-star hospitals to 1-star rated hospitals, those in the bottom 15 percent of hospitals studied, the study concluded the following: 

  • Top-performing hospitals had fewer complications compared with poor-performing hospitals with 51.3 percent fewer maternal complications for vaginal births and 74.3 percent fewer maternal complications for C-sections
  • If all hospitals in the 19 states studied performed at the level of the best-performing hospitals from 2006 through 2008, 176,654 women may have avoided one or more in-hospital major obstetric complications.
  • Top-performing hospitals had a 35.2 percent lower mortality than average-performing hospitals.
  • Top-performing hospitals had the highest episiotomy rates and vacuum-assisted delivery rates but the lowest forceps-assisted delivery rates.

Hospitals rated with 5 stars by HealthGrades for their maternity care outcomes tended to have much higher delivery volume. On average, 5-star rated hospitals delivered 7,029 babies over the three years studied, compared to an average of 4,346 and 1,702 for those rated 3- and 1-star.

Each month, approximately 200 mothers deliver their babies in the New Beginnings maternity unit inside The Women’s Center of North Florida Regional Healthcare.  In 2009, the year with the most recent data, 2,597 births were recorded.  Data for 2010 is not yet available, but hospital leaders predict continued growth.

“Our growth is a result of the effective teamwork and communication we offer in providing compassionate, quality care in an atmosphere that is family-centered and culturally sensitive,” says Beverly Griseck, RN, Director of New Beginnings. “Our ultimate goal is a healthy mother and baby who return home safely and begin their lives as part of our community.” 

The complete methodology and study can be found at www.healthgrades.com.

About North Florida Regional Healthcare:
North Florida Regional Healthcare is an organization centered around the only community hospital in Gainesville, Florida -- North Florida Regional Medical Center (NFRMC).  NFRMC is a 325-bed, full-service medical and surgical acute care center serving 14 counties and offering comprehensive cardiovascular care, oncology, orthopedics, neurosciences, weight loss surgery and treatment, women’s health and wound therapy, among other services.  A proven leader, NFRMC is fully accredited, is certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organization, is designated as a Blue Distinction ™ Center for Knee and Hip Replacement ,Spine Surgery and Bariatric Surgery. Recognized by HealthGrades for General Surgery care that is among the Top 10 Percent in the nation and 5-star Maternity care, North Florida Regional Medical Center is a member of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).  Based in Nashville, Tennessee, HCA remains the nation’s leading provider of healthcare services, composed of locally managed facilities that include approximately 166 hospitals and 112 outpatient centers in 20 states and England. 

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