Comparing Hospitals in California

This is a program I would like to see nationwide!

Several California hospitals have actually posted certain statistics so that you can actually be informed about the type and quality of care you may experience, should you choose to give birth there. Not all hospitals have chosen to participate, which makes me wonder why — do the hospital administrations just not care? do they think women don’t care? are their statistics poor compared to other hospitals?

When I called the two nearest hospitals to me (in Mississippi), they couldn’t even give me a ballpark estimate on the C-section rate. But they have to be able to figure it. I mean, they do the surgeries, and they bill for them, so it’s a no-brainer that they have to know how many they actually do there. It seems that with all of the technology we have nowadays, that somebody could easily design a computer program that would cull information from billing to at least know how many births are done by C-section.

So, seeing this information in plain black and white was quite refreshing! I looked at a few different hospitals, and it was interesting to see how they rated compared to the other. To me, it’s just a mental exercise, because these hospitals are mere names to me, and I’m approximately 3000 miles from any of them; but to women who live in California, and who have the option of birthing in several different hospitals, it can be a great boon! If you are planning on breastfeeding, for instance, then seeing that the nearest hospital to you has a dismal rate of women who are breastfeeding at discharge may indicate that the quality of care and/or support for breastfeeding may be seriously lacking. If, on the other hand, a hospital that is half-an-hour further away has awesome breastfeeding stats (at least comparatively), then that is an indication that this hospital and their employees (doctors, nurses, lactation consultants) are doing a great job at supporting women who want to breastfeed, and in helping the women establish a good breastfeeding relationship.

So, if you’re from California, I highly recommend that you check out your local hospitals, and see how they rank. If one or more of your local hospitals did not participate, you may want to call and find out why. If you’re not from California, you may want to call your local hospital and see if they have similar stats published anywhere, and if not, why not?

My thanks to Jeanne from Bay Area Birth Info for this link.

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