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San Joaquin Community Hospital's Maternity Center Receives 5-Star Rating for Sixth Straight Year

Awards & Recognition San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) announced today that the nation’s leading independent health care ratings company recognized them among the top 5% of hospitals for Maternity Care with a 5-star rating and the 2009/2010 Maternity Care Excellence Award™. HealthGrades® found that wide gaps persist in quality outcomes for maternity care and the best-performing hospitals had far fewer complications compared with poor-performing hospitals.

The Sixth Annual HealthGrades® Women’s Health in American Hospitals Study found that 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.

“One of the most joyous moments in life is the birth of a newborn baby,” said SJCH President and CEO Robert J. Beehler. “At SJCH, we’re committed to a process that allows deliveries to be performed safely, smoothly and compassionately.”

Study findings include the following:

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 in-hospital major obstetrics complications.

Best-performing hospitals had a 56% lower weight-stratified neonatal mortality compared to poor-performing hospitals.

C-section rates average approximately 32% among the 19 states studied.

Quality inconsistencies are seen when comparing states; those with the lowest complication rates have almost half the complications compared with states that had the highest complication rates.

“For many women, having a baby is their first experience with hospitalization, and as this study shows, it really matters which hospital is chosen.” said Dr. Rick May, a senior physician consultant with HealthGrades® and a study co-author. “But now women have a way of identifying hospitals with outstanding track records in terms of the outcomes of other new mothers. That’s a powerful tool for all women as they plan for their birth.”

HealthGrades® analyzed approximately 13 million hospital delivery and neonate records from 2005 through 2007 in more than 1,500 hospitals in 19 all-payer states for this study and identified 218 hospitals as being five-star rated in maternity care.

San Joaquin Community Hospital’s Maternity Care Center has achieved the HealthGrades® 5-star rating for the past six years. In addition to performing more than 3,600 deliveries per year, the center also offers NICU services, parenting and childbirth classes, and tours.