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.