Hospitals Make Progress in Eliminating Early Elective Deliveries: Good News, but More Work Needs to be Done

January 25, 2012

The employer-driven hospital quality watchdog, The Leapfrog Group, announced today that 2011 results from the annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey indicate that hospitals are making progress in eliminating early elective newborn deliveries. The Leapfrog Group announced that 39% of reporting hospitals kept their early elective delivery rate to 5% or less, compared to 30% of reporting hospitals last year.

In 2010 Leapfrog was the first, and remains the only, national organization to make hospital-specific information about this practice publicly available. Since Leapfrog highlighted data on this unsafe practice last year, early elective deliveries has emerged as a priority issue for dozens of national and local health organizations, the National Priorities Partnership, and policymakers through the Department of Health and Human Service's Partnership for Patients campaign.

According to Leapfrog, there is still wide variation among hospitals. Rates of early elective deliveries ranged from less than 5%, which is Leapfrog's target for all hospitals, to over 40%. Leapfrog's 2011 data is the first indication that hospitals are improving.


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