Eleven Sutter Health Hospitals Honored for Low C-Section Rates
Sutter Health hospitals, which have among the lowest cesarean section (C-section) rates in California, were recognized by the California Health and Human Services Department for reducing cesarean births for first-time moms with low-risk pregnancies. Eleven Sutter hospitals were named to the state’s 2016 Hospital C-section Honor Roll.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley announced achievement awards this week on behalf of Smart Care California, a coalition of public and private health care purchasers that collectively cover 16 million people statewide—or 40 percent of all Californians.
The following Sutter Health hospitals were named to the 2016 Hospital C-section Honor Roll:
• Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley
• California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
• Eden Medical Center, Castro Valley
• Sutter Davis Hospital
• Sutter Delta Medical Center, Antioch
• Sutter Lakeside Hospital, Lakeport
• Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center of Santa Cruz
• Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital
• Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento
• Sutter Roseville Medical Center
• Sutter Solano Medical Center, Vallejo
“Sutter Health delivers about three kindergarten classes every day across our Northern California network,” said Sutter Health Chief Medical Officer Stephen Lockhart, M.D., Ph.D. “We know that a happy life starts with a healthy beginning, so we continuously look for new ways to promote safer birth experiences for mothers and their babies.
“Sutter Health has received recognition as a leader for reducing unnecessary C-sections, and our hospitals have among the lowest C-section rates in California because of our quality and safety programs,” said Lockhart. Sutter Davis Hospital has the lowest C-section rate in California at 12 percent.
Nearly one of three American babies enters the world through a surgical birth. Cesarean delivery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States. When complications arise during pregnancy, C-sections can save the lives of mothers and infants, but some women undergo surgery for no medical reason, exposing both mother and baby to potentially avoidable complications.
Even for low-risk first-birth pregnancies, there is huge variation in California hospital C-section rates, which range from less than 15 percent to more than 60 percent. To respond to the rise in unnecessary C-sections, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set a 2020 goal of reducing nationwide C-section rates for low-risk first births to 23.9 percent. This week’s California awards, which will be given annually, acknowledge hospitals that have achieved—and in many cases gone beyond—that goal.
Not-for-profit Sutter Health has actively worked on lowering its C-section rates since 1999, when the Northern California health system launched the First Pregnancy and Delivery (FPAD) program whose results were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2006.
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