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Santa Clara County, CA – Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) was awarded a place on the state’s Honor Roll for meeting low C-section goals for low-risk first time deliveries. California Health and Human Services Secretary Diane Dooley recognized California hospitals yesterday.
California accounts for 1 in 8 of all U.S. births, or about 500,000 births, annually. While life-saving in certain cases, C-sections can pose serious risks to both mothers and babies. Between 1997 and 2015, California's overall C-section rate increased sharply, from about 1 in 5 births to nearly 1 in 3. The increase was largely due to two factors: a significant rise in first-birth C-sections and a decline in vaginal births after a prior cesarean. These trends showed the key to reducing C-sections overall is to reduce low-risk, first-birth C-sections. Hospital C-section rates may be found at www.CalHospitalCompare.org.
"I am very proud of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s achievements," said Paul Lorenz, CEO, SCVMC. “We have low C-section rates and high quality ratings for caring for pregnant women. This shows our commitment to quality patient care, excellence and innovation. We’ve been known for our exceptional burn and trauma care. Now we should also be known for our exceptional care of moms and babies."
Recently, CalQualityCare.org, managed by the California HealthCare Foundation, also released ratings and scores in maternal health for all California hospitals. The foundation is dedicated to improving quality, increasing efficiency and lowering the costs of health care in California. CHCF and CalQualityCare.org are not affiliated with the medical industry nor any individual facility or agency.
Along with the worrisome increases in the percentage of babies delivered by Cesarean section, California has also experienced less than ideal numbers of newborns being breastfed. To reverse these trends and improve care, the California HealthCare Foundation, in partnership with the California Hospital Assessment and Reporting Taskforce, supports efforts to collect, analyze and report on the quality of maternity care delivered at hospitals throughout the state.
“We are committed to supporting safe and healthy births for all mothers, even those with unexpected or severe health issues,” commented Dr. James Byrne, Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology. “We see more of these moms than any other local hospital and are leading vaginal births after cesarean center in California. We provide great care for all women, as reflected by these outcomes.”
Additionally, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) recently underwent a rigorous effort to complete a number of actions earlier in the process of discharging an infant from the unit. Working as a Unit Based Team (UBT), they addressed getting critical congenital heart disease screenings, hearing screenings, making sure there was a car seat for every infant, and providing Hepatitis B vaccines 2 day prior to discharge. Critical to the health of our tiniest patients, by completing these items sooner we can reduce the number of things happening on discharge day, making the process easier for mom and baby.
These examples show how various aspects of quality care — safety, effectiveness, patient-centered care, and timeliness — can affect the condition and well-being of our patients.
Attachment: CalQualityCare scores and ratings for Santa Clara County hospitals.