Screening for inter-hospital differences in cesarean section rates in low-risk deliveries using administrative data: an initiative to improve the quality of care.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Rising national cesarean section rates (CSRs) and unexplained inter-hospital differences in CSRs, led national and international bodies to select CSR as a quality indicator. Using hospital discharge abstracts, we aimed to document in Belgium (1) inter-hospital differences in CSRs among low risk deliveries, (2) a national upward CSR trend, (3) lack of better neonatal outcomes in hospitals with high CSRs, and (4) possible under-use of CS. METHODS: We defined a population of low risk deliveries (singleton, vertex, full-term, live born, <4500 g, >2499 g). Using multivariable logistic regression techniques, we provided degrees of evidence regarding the observed departure ([relative risk-1]*100) of each hospital (N = 107) from the national CSR and its trend. To determine a benchmark, we defined three CSR groups (high, average and low) and compared them regarding 1 minute Apgar scores and other neonatal endpoints. An anonymous feedback is provided to the hospitals, the College of Physicians (with voluntary disclosure of the outlying hospitals for quality improvement purposes) and to the policy makers. RESULTS: Compared with available information, the completeness and accuracy of the data, regarding the variables selected to determine our study population, showed adequate. Important inter-hospital differences were found. Departures ranged from -65% up to +75%, and 9 "high CSR" and 13 "low CSR" outlying hospitals were identified. We observed a national increasing trend of 1.019 (95%CI [1.015; 1.022]) per semester, adjusted for age groups. In the "high CSR" group 1 minute Apgar scores <4 were over-represented in the subgroup of vaginal deliveries, suggesting CSs not carried out for medical reasons. Under-use of CS was also observed. Given their questionable completeness, except Apgar scores, our neonatal results, showing a significant association of CS with adverse neonatal endpoints, are to be cautiously interpreted. Taking the available evidence into account, the "Average CSR" group seemed to be the best benchmark candidate. CONCLUSION: Rather than firm statements about quality of care, our results are to be considered a useful screening. The inter-hospital differences in CSR, the national CS upward trend, the indications of over-use and under-use, the geographically different obstetric patterns and the admission day-related concentration of deliveries, whether or not by CS, may trigger initiatives aiming at improving quality of care.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The inequity in emergency obstetric care access in Tanzania is unsatisfactory. Despite an existing national obstetric referral system, many birthing women bypass referring facilities and go directly to higher-level care centres. We wanted to compare Caesarean section (CS) rates among women formally referred to a tertiary care centre versus self-referred women, and to assess the effect of referral status on adverse outcomes after CS. METHODS: We used data from 21,011 deliveries, drawn from the birth registry of a tertiary hospital in northeastern Tanzania, during 2000-07. Referral status was categorized as self-referred if the woman had bypassed or not accessed referral, or formally-referred if referred by a health worker. Because CS indications were insufficiently registered, we applied the Ten-Group Classification System to determine the CS rate by obstetric group and referral status. Associations between referral status and adverse outcomes after CS delivery were analysed using multiple regression models. Outcome measures were CS, maternal death, obstetric haemorrhage ? 750 mL, postpartum stay > 9 days, neonatal death, Apgar score < 7 at 5 min and neonatal ward transfer. RESULTS: Referral status contributed substantially to the CS rate, which was 55.0% in formally-referred and 26.9% in self-referred birthing women. In both groups, term nulliparous singleton cephalic pregnancies and women with previous scar(s) constituted two thirds of CS deliveries. Low Apgar score (adjusted OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.09-1.86) and neonatal ward transfer (adjusted OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04-1.35) were significantly associated with formal referral. Early neonatal death rates after CS were 1.6% in babies of formally-referred versus 1.2% in babies of self-referred birthing women, a non-significant difference after adjusting for confounding factors (adjusted OR 1.37, 95% CI 0.87-2.16). Absolute neonatal death rates were > 2% after CS in breech, multiple gestation and preterm deliveries in both referral groups. CONCLUSIONS: Women referred for delivery had higher CS rates and poorer neonatal outcomes, suggesting that the formal referral system successfully identifies high-risk birth, although low volume suggests underutilization. High absolute rates of post-CS adverse outcomes among breech, multiple gestation and preterm deliveries suggest the need to target self-referred birthing women for earlier professional intrapartum care.
Project description:Rising caesarean section (CS) rates have been observed worldwide in recent decades. This study sought to analyse trends in CS rates and outcomes among a variety of obstetric groups at a university hospital in a low-income country.We conducted a hospital-based panel study at Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. All deliveries between 2000 and 2011 with gestational age???28 weeks were included in the study. The 12 years were divided into four periods: 2000 to 2002, 2003 to 2005, 2006 to 2008, and 2009 to 2011. Main outcome measures included CS rate, relative size of obstetric groups, contribution to overall CS rate, perinatal mortality ratio, neonatal distress, and maternal mortality ratio. Time trends were analysed within the ten Robson groups, based on maternal and obstetric characteristics. We applied the ?2 test for trend to determine whether changes were statistically significant. Odds ratios of CS were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression, accounting for maternal age, referral status, and private healthcare insurance.We included 137,094 deliveries. The total CS rate rose from 19% to 49%, involving nine out of ten groups. Multipara without previous CS with single, cephalic pregnancies in spontaneous labour had a CS rate of 33% in 2009 to 2011. Adjusted analysis explained some of the increase. Perinatal mortality and neonatal distress decreased in multiple pregnancies (p?<?0.001 and p?=?0.003) and nullipara with breech pregnancies (p?<?0.001 and p?=?0.024). Although not statistically significant, there was an increase in perinatal mortality (p?=?0.381) and neonatal distress (p?=?0.171) among multipara with single cephalic pregnancies in spontaneous labour. The maternal mortality ratio increased from 463/100, 000 live births in 2000 to 2002 to 650/100, 000 live births in 2009 to 2011 (p?=?0.031).The high CS rate among low-risk groups suggests that many CSs might have been performed on questionable indications. Such a trend may result in even higher CS rates in the future. While CS can improve perinatal outcomes, it does not necessarily do so if performed routinely in low-risk groups.
Project description:The neonatal Apgar score at 5 min has been found to be a better predictor of outcomes than the Apgar score at 1 min. A baby, however, must pass through the first minute of life to reach the fifth. There has been no research looking at predictors of recovery (Apgar scores ≥7) by 5 min in neonates with 1 min Apgar scores <4.An analysis of observational data was conducted using live, singleton, term births recorded in the Malaysian National Obstetrics Registry between 2010 and 2012. A total of 272,472 live, singleton, term births without congential anomalies were recorded, of which 1,580 (0.59%) had 1 min Apgar scores <4. Descriptive methods and bi- and multi-variable logistic regression were used to identify risk factors associated with recovery (5 min Apgar score ≥7) from 1 min Apgar scores <4.Less than 1% of births have a 1 min Apgar scores <4. Only 29.4% of neonates with 1 min Apgar scores <4 recover to a 5 min Apgar score ≥7. Among uncomplicated vaginal deliveries, after controlling for other factors, deliveries by a doctor of neonates with a 1 min Apgar score <4 had odds of recovery 2.4 times greater than deliveries of neonates with a 1 min Apgar score <4 by a nurse-midwife. Among deliveries of neonates with a 1 min Apgar score <4 by doctors, after controlling for other factors, planned and unplanned CS was associated with better odds of recovery than uncomplicated vaginal deliveries. Recovery was also associated with maternal obesity, and there was some ethnic variation - in the adjusted analysis indigenous (Orang Asal) Malaysians had lower odds of recovery.A 1 min Apgar score <4 is relatively rare, and less than a third recover by five minutes. In those newborns the qualification of the person performing the delivery and the type of delivery are independent predictors of recovery as is maternal BMI and ethnicity. These are associations only, not necessarily causes, and they point to potential areas of research into health systems factors in the labour room, as well as possible biological and cultural factors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) is associated with high neonatal morbidity and mortality. However, the influences of cesarean section (CS) on neonatal outcomes in preterm pregnancies complicated with PPROM are not well elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of delivery modes on neonatal outcomes among pregnant women with PPROM. METHODS:A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted in 39 public hospitals in 14 cities in the mainland of China from January 1st, 2011 to December 31st, 2011. A total of 2756 singleton pregnancies complicated with PPROM were included. Adverse neonatal outcomes including early neonatal death, birth asphyxia, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), pneumonia, infection, birth trauma, and 5-min/10-min Apgar scores were obtained from the hospital records. Binary variables and ordinal variables were respectively calculated by binary logistic regressions and ordinal regression. Numerical variables were compared by multiple linear regressions. RESULTS:In total, 2756 newborns were involved in the analysis. Among them, 1166 newborns (42.31%) were delivered by CS and 1590 newborns belonged to vaginal delivery (VD) group. The CS proportion of PPROM obviously increased with the increase of gestational age (??=?5.014, P?=?0.025). Compared with CS group, VD was associated with a higher risk of total newborns mortality (odds ratio [OR], 2.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.102-5.118; P?=?0.027), and a lower level of pneumonia (OR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.126-0.811; P?=?0.016). However, after multivariable adjustment and stratification for gestational age, only pneumonia was significantly related with CS in 28 to 34 weeks group (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.120-0.940; P?=?0.038). There were no differences regarding to other adverse outcomes in the two groups, including neonatal mortality, birth asphyxia, Apgar scores, RDS, pneumonia, and sepsis. CONCLUSIONS:The proportion of CS of pregnant women with PPROM was very high in China. The mode of delivery does not affect neonatal outcomes of pregnancies complicated with PPROM.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To explore variation in red blood cell transfusion rates between hospitals, and the extent to which this can be explained. A secondary objective was to assess whether hospital transfusion rates are associated with maternal morbidity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Linked hospital discharge and birth data were used to identify births (n = 279 145) in hospitals with at least 10 deliveries per annum between 2008 and 2010 in New South Wales, Australia. To investigate transfusion rates, a series of random-effects multilevel logistic regression models were fitted, progressively adjusting for maternal, obstetric and hospital factors. Correlations between hospital transfusion and maternal, neonatal morbidity and readmission rates were assessed. RESULTS: Overall, the transfusion rate was 1.4% (hospital range 0.6-2.9) across 89 hospitals. Adjusting for maternal casemix reduced the variation between hospitals by 26%. Adjustment for obstetric interventions further reduced variation by 8% and a further 39% after adjustment for hospital type (range 1.1-2.0%). At a hospital level, high transfusion rates were moderately correlated with maternal morbidity (0.59, P = 0.01), but not with low Apgar scores (0.39, P = 0.08), or readmission rates (0.18, P = 0.29). CONCLUSION: Both casemix and practice differences contributed to the variation in transfusion rates between hospitals. The relationship between outcomes and transfusion rates was variable; however, low transfusion rates were not associated with worse outcomes.
Project description:<label>BACKGROUND</label>The rates of caesarean section (CS) are increasing globally. CS rates are one of the most frequently used indicators of health care quality. Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC) could be considered a reasonable and safe option for most women with a previous CS. Despite this fact, in some European countries, many women who had a previous CS will have a routine CS subsequently and VBAC rates are extremely variable across countries. VBAC use is inversely related to caesarean use. The objective of the present study was to analyze VBAC rates with respect to caesarean rates and the variations among areas of residence, hospitals and hospital ownership types in Italy.<label>METHODS</label>This study was based on information from the Hospital Information System (HIS). We collected data from all deliveries in Italy from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2014 and we considered only deliveries with a previous caesarean section. Applying multivariate logistic regression analysis, the adjusted proportions of VBAC for each Local Health Units (LHU), each hospital and by hospital ownership types were calculated. Cross-classified logistic multilevel models were performed to analyze within geographic, hospitals and hospital ownership types variations.<label>RESULTS</label>We studied a total of 77,850 deliveries with a previous caesarean section in Italy between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2014. The proportion of VBAC in Italy slightly increased in the last few years, from 5.8% in 2010 to 7.5% in 2014. Proportions of VBAC ranged from 0.29 to 50.05% in Italian LHUs. The LHUs with lower proportions of VBAC deliveries were characterized by higher values for primary caesarean deliveries. Private hospitals showed the lowest mean of crude VBAC proportions but the highest variation among hospitals, ranging from 0 to 47.1%.<label>CONCLUSIONS</label>Hospital rates of caesarean section for women with at least one previous caesarean section vary widely, and only some of the variation can be explained by case-mix and hospital-level factors, suggesting that additional factors influence practices. Identifying disparities in VBAC may have important implications for health services planning and targeted efforts to reduce overall rates of caesarean deliveries.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Birth asphyxia is a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality in developing nations, such as Ethiopia. Though Ethiopia has made considerable achievement in the reduction of under-five mortality rate, the neonatal mortality burden has not experienced the same reduction, which may be attributed to birth asphyxia. Thus, this study attempts to assess the prevalence and associated factors of birth asphyxia among newborns in public hospitals in the northeastern Amhara region, Ethiopia. METHODS:An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 357 births from 1st April to 2nd May 2018. The sample size was proportionally allocated to randomly selected three public hospitals namely, Dessie referral hospital, Debre Berhan referral hospital, and Woldia general hospital. The allocation was made by taking the average number of deliveries given in each hospital six months before the data collection period. Using the delivery registration of hospitals a systematic random sampling technique was used to get all study participants. The diagnosis of birth asphyxia was confirmed based on the physician's diagnosis of an APGAR score < 7 in the 1st and 5th minutes of birth. A pretested and structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Variables with p-values < 0.25 in the bivariable analysis were entered into a multivariable logistic regression analysis. A statistical significant level was declared at a p-value of <0.05. RESULTS:The prevalence of birth asphyxia was found to occur 22.6% of the time [95% CI 19.2% - 26.4%] in the first minute of birth. In the multivariable logistic regression being primipara [AOR = 3.77: 95% CI 1.86, 7.65], presented with complicated labor [AOR = 3.45: 95% CI 1.58, 7.49], premature rupture of membrane [AOR = 3.85: 95% CI 1.76, 8.44) and having blood-stained amniotic fluid at birth [AOR = 5.02: 95% CI 1.69, 14.87] were the independent predictors of birth asphyxia. CONCLUSION:The study revealed that birth asphyxia is a common newborn complication in the Amhara region. Integrated mitigation measure to reduce neonatal mortality in the Amahar region should give due attention to primipara women and for these high-risk pregnancies in order for the region to achieve national and global commitment to have sustainable change in women and neonatal health.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Maternal perceptions about caesarean section contribute to delayed presentation of women for emergency obstetric care. This increases the risks of perinatal and neonatal mortality and slows down the reductions needed to achieve the sustainable development goal (SDG) target of reducing neonatal mortality and ending new-born deaths. The aim of the study is to determine maternal perceptions about caesarean section deliveries and their role in reducing neonatal mortality at a regional and a district hospital in the Upper West Region of Ghana. METHODS:This descriptive study was carried out at two hospitals in the Upper West Region, the most rural region in Ghana, between 15th January and 29th June, 2018. Maternal perceptions were examined among antenatal care attendants at the Upper West Regional Hospital (UWRH) and St Joseph's Hospital Jirapa (SJH), a district hospital, using questionnaires administered by trained nurses. RESULTS:Altogether, 416 completed questionnaires were obtained, comprising 206 from expectant women attending the UWRH and 210 from SJH. Although the majority of women in this study preferred spontaneous vaginal delivery (87.4%, n?=?348) to caesarean section, most of the respondents (n?=?281, 73%) indicated their willingness to have a caesarean section if necessary. The main reason for not wanting a CS was the long recovery time (51.8%, n?=?148). Almost half of women interviewed, representing 45.1% (180) did not know or feel that CS can promote child survival and about a fifth, 21.6% (85) believed that CS can have adverse effects on child survival. Factors associated with poor perception of CS included, no formal education, age less than 19?years and no employment. CONCLUSION:Majority of women in this study had a positive attitude towards the uptake of CS if it becomes necessary. Lack of formal education, age less than 19?years and unemployment are associated with poor maternal perception of CS. Education to improve the perception of CS as a promoter of child survival is necessary and to discourage perceptions that it causes adverse perinatal or neonatal outcome particularly in at risk populations.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To study whether neonatal and infant mortality, after adjustments for differences in case mix, were independent of the type of hospital in which the delivery was carried out. DATA: The Medical Birth Registry of Norway provided detailed medical information for all births in Norway. STUDY DESIGN: Hospitals were classified into two groups: local hospitals/maternity clinics versus central/regional hospitals. Outcomes were neonatal and infant mortality. The data were analyzed using propensity score weighting to make adjustments for differences in case mix between the two groups of hospitals. This analysis was supplemented with analyses of 13 local hospitals that were closed. Using a difference-in-difference approach, the effects that these closures had on neonatal and infant mortality were estimated. PRINCIPAL FINDING: Neonatal and infant mortality were not affected by the type of hospital where the delivery took place. CONCLUSION: A regionalized maternity service does not lead to increased neonatal and infant mortality. This is mainly because high-risk deliveries were identified well in advance of the birth, and referred to a larger hospital with sufficient perinatal resources to deal with these deliveries.
Project description:To use propensity score methods to create similar groups of women delivering in public and private hospitals and determine any differences in mode of delivery and neonatal outcomes between the matched groups.Population-based, retrospective cohort study.Public and private hospitals in Western Australia.Included were 93 802 public and 66 479 private singleton, term deliveries during 1998-2008, from which 32 757 public patients were matched with 32 757 private patients on the propensity score of maternal characteristics.Neonatal outcomes were compared in the propensity score-matched cohorts using conditional logistic regression, adjusted for antenatal risk factors and mode of delivery. Outcomes included Apgar score <7 at 5 min, neonatal resuscitation (endotracheal intubation or external cardiac massage) and admission to a neonatal special care unit.No significant differences in maternal characteristics were found between the propensity score-matched groups. Private patients were more likely than their matched public counterparts to undergo prelabour caesarean section (25.2% vs 18%, p<0.0001). Public patients had lower rates of neonatal unit admission (AOR 0.67, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.73) and neonatal resuscitation (AOR 0.73, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.95), but higher rates of low Apgar scores at 5 min (AOR 1.31, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.63) despite adjustment for antenatal factors. Additional adjustment for mode of delivery reduced the resuscitation risk (AOR 0.86, 95% CI? 0.63 to 1.18) but did not significantly alter the other estimates.Propensity score methods can be used to generate comparable groups of public and private patients. Despite the rates of low Apgar scores being higher in public patients, the rates of special care admission were lower. Whether these findings stem from differences in paediatric services or clinical factors is yet to be determined.