The nation's leading independent healthcare ratings organization ranked Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, among the top 5% in the nation for women's health quality outcomes, recognized by the 2009/2010 Women's Health Excellence Award. It also earned the Maternity Care Excellence Award and is the only hospital in New Jersey to be ranked among the top 10% in the nation for maternity care for the seventh consecutive year. Saint Barnabas is one of only 15 hospitals nationwide to earn both the Women's Health and Maternity Care Excellence Awards for 2009/2010.
The Sixth Annual HealthGrades Women's Health in American Hospitals study released today by HealthGrades analyzed patient outcomes for the inhospital treatment of 16 procedures/diagnoses concerning women's health and maternity care. The study found that wide gaps persist between the quality of care at best- and worst-performing hospitals.
"We are once again very pleased to be the recipient of the Women's Health and Maternity Care Excellence Awards," states John F. Bonamo, M.D., M.S., Executive Director of Saint Barnabas Medical Center. "These awards are a great testament to the expert care and compassion that our physicians, our nurses and all of our staff provide to our patients and truly speaks to the culture of quality at Saint Barnabas Medical Center," he added.
"The way in which women present symptoms differ from men in acute situations, such as heart attack," said Dr. Rick May, senior physician consultant with HealthGrades and a study co-author. "Treatment for women can also differ and the quality can certainly vary between hospitals,''
If all hospitals in the study performed at the level of the best-performing hospitals in women's health, 18,089 women's lives could have potentially been saved and 6,849 complications could have been avoided during the years 2005, 2006 and 2007. Eighty-two percent (14,930) of the potentially preventable deaths were associated with the treatment of just four diagnoses: pneumonia, stroke, heart failure, and heart attack.
The Sixth Annual HealthGrades Women's Health in American Hospitals study also found a difference in quality of care between maternity programs is substantial for both vaginal and C-section deliveries: the best-performing hospitals had 52% fewer maternal complications among women who had vaginal births compared to poor-performing hospitals and 76% fewer complications among women who had C-sections. Patient-choice C-sections had the largest difference at 84% between best- and poor-performing hospitals. If all hospitals, among the 19 states studied, performed at the level of the best-performing hospitals from 2005 through 2007, 182,129 women may have avoided developing one or more inhospital major obstetrics complications. The best-performing hospitals had a 56% lower weight-stratified neonatal mortality compared to poor-performing hospitals.
— ANDY LAGOMARSINO, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM