Featuring: Serdar E. Bulun, MD, Emily S. Miller, MD, MPH
More than 2,700 hospitals across the country offer maternity services, but only 237 were named to the U.S. News & World Report new list of the Best Hospitals for Maternity.
“All families deserve to be informed on how hospitals perform on key indicators of quality, which is why U.S. News has compiled and published a trove of maternal health data from hospitals across the country,” Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News & World Report, said in a press release.
“Now, hundreds of hospital profiles on usnews.com feature relevant, targeted information for parents-to-be to use during their search to find, in consultation with their health care provider, the best local hospital for an uncomplicated pregnancy,” Harder said.
The researchers at U.S. News only looked at data related to uncomplicated pregnancies, not high-risk pregnancies, in five different factors: scheduled early deliveries, cesarean section rates in low-risk women, newborn complications, rates of exclusive breastmilk feeding and options for vaginal births after cesarean births (VBACs). Based on this data, U.S. News determined which hospitals were high performing in maternity care and named them to its list without ranking them against each other.
The hospitals that were named high performers in maternity care had on average 21.1% nulliparous, term, singleton, vertex cesarean section rates, 1.3% early elective delivery rates, 2.38% overall unexpected newborn complication rates and 58.6% exclusive breast milk feeding rates. Also, 92.4% of them offer routine VBACs.
U.S. News also examined services and amenities, including private rooms, valet parking and child birthing classes. Hospitals submitted data from 2019 to participate in the survey, and no fee was required to be evaluated.
Northwestern Medicine’s flagship Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, home to the standalone Prentice Women’s Hospital, was named to the list.
“We deliver about 12,000 babies per year, making Prentice the largest maternity hospital in the Midwest and one of the largest in the country,” Serdar E. Bulun, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist in chief at Prentice Women’s Hospital said.
Established in 1975, Prentice is a major teaching hospital with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. It collaborates with Northwestern’s Kishwaukee and Lake Forest hospitals in DeKalb and Lake Forest, Illinois, respectively, which also were named to the list, to optimize preventive care.
“We have an obstetric collaborative between all these hospitals so deliveries go smoothly with the least number of complications from the beginning,” said Bulun, who also is chair of obstetrics and gynecology for all of Northwestern Medicine.
Programs screen mothers for diabetes, hypertension and preeclampsia. Northwestern’s hospitals also share resource programs and work together in developing standards of care. In 2018, clinicians in the system published a protocol for optimizing induced delivery times as well.
“We also have a new program that is very comprehensive and supported both by the hospitals and many of our donors to make sure we do everything we can so as many babies are breastfed as possible because of the short-term and long-term advantages of breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby,” said Bulun.
And while Bulun said all the doctors at these hospitals are wonderful individuals, he specifically mentioned Emily S. Miller, MD, MPH, chief of obstetrics at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, for her contributions, including a program that began screening mothers for peripartum mood disorders so they could be diagnosed and treated early if not outright prevented.
“She is a leader who formulated these protocols with her colleagues at all of our hospitals,” Bulun said.
This article was originally published Healio on December 7, 2021.
Serdar E. Bulun, MD is the chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the John J. Sciarra professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Reproductive Science in Medicine) and Obstetrics and Gynecology (Reproductive Endo and Infertility).
The laboratory research of Serdar E. Bulun, MD, focuses on studying estrogen biosynthesis and metabolism, in particular aromatase expression, in hormone-dependent human diseases such as breast cancer, endometriosis and uterine fibroids.
Emily S. Miller, MD, MPH is chief of obstetrics at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Maternal Fetal Medicine) and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
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