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Memphis-Area Hospitals Make Progress in Eliminating Early Elective Deliveries

Memphis Business Group on Health (MBGH) and the employer-driven hospital quality watchdog, The Leapfrog Group, announce that the 2011 results from the annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey indicate that hospitals in the greater-Memphis area, which includes West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas, and North Mississippi, are making progress in eliminating early elective newborn deliveries. In 2011 57 % of reporting hospitals in this region kept their early elective delivery rate to 5% or less, compared to 20% of reporting hospitals last year. We also saw more hospitals reporting in 2011 (14) than in 2010 (10). 

See the specific results for Greater-Memphis area hospitals.

“Of the hospitals in our region that reported an elective delivery rate in 2010 and 2011, 70% improved their performance. This is extremely promising news. We are making a difference in the lives of women and newborns,” said MBGH CEO Cristie Upshaw Travis.

The only way to get hospital-specific information about this practice is through the Leapfrog Annual Hospital Survey, which is organized and lead by the Memphis Business Group on Health for the greater-Memphis area. Since Leapfrog highlighted this unsafe practice nationally and MBGH highlighted it regionally last year, early elective deliveries has emerged as a priority issue for dozens of national and local health organizations, the National Priorities Partnership, and policymakers through the Department of Health and Human Service’s Partnership for Patients campaign.

Experts, including those from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Childbirth Connection, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and the March of Dimes, caution that a baby needs at least 39 completed weeks to fully develop. Some complications experienced by early term infants include respiratory distress, temperature instability, increased bilirubin resulting in in-hospitals treatment, infection, longer-hospital stays, and higher mortality rates.

Watch a video on MBGH's YouTube Channel on the importance of carrying a baby to full-term.

Posted by Cristie Travis at 2:16 PM

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