GOLDEN, Colo. (June 30, 2009) – Wide gaps in quality outcomes for women persist, not only when compared to men, but among hospitals and states, according to a new study released today by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. The Sixth Annual HealthGrades Women's Health in American Hospitals study identifies patient outcomes for maternity care and inhospital treatment of 16 procedures/diagnoses concerning women's health. Ratings for individual hospitals have been posted at www.healthgrades.com.
Among the findings are that the nation's best-performing hospitals have complication rates for vaginal and C-section deliveries, as well as neonatal mortality rates, that are dramatically below those of poorly performing hospitals. Additionally, mortality and morbidity in women's health, women's cardiovascular procedures and women's bone and joint procedures improved 33% in the best-performing hospitals.
The study focuses on two major areas of care for women—maternity care and women's health—as these represent the gamut of women's healthcare needs. Only 15 hospitals across the nation provided the best comprehensive coverage in both maternity care and women's health.
"Women account for nearly 60 percent of all hospital admissions. Because of this, the impact that quality women's health has on our nation is tremendous," said Dr. Rick May, senior physician consultant and a study co-author. "Based on the huge quality gaps we've identified in our study, it is crucial that women take a more active role in their healthcare by seeking out hospitals with the best quality outcomes and using this information in their decision when selecting a hospital."
Women's Health Outcomes
HealthGrades analyzed more than 2.6 million hospitalizations using Medicare data from all 50 states from 2005 through 2007. Women's Health outcomes were separated into several aspects of care: Women's Medicine (heart attack, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and stroke); Women's Cardiovascular Procedures (coronary bypass surgery, peripheral vascular bypass, coronary interventional procedures, resection/replacement of abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid surgery, and valve replacement); and Women's Bone & Joint Health (total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, spinal surgeries, and hip fracture repair). The study found:
Maternity Care Outcomes
HealthGrades analyzed approximately 13 million hospital delivery and neonate records from 2005 through 2007 in more than 1,500 hospitals in 19 all-payer states and found: