Maternity Care Quality Outcomes

​In the area of maternity care, UC San Diego Health is proud of the following accomplishments:

  • Only hospital in San Diego or Imperial counties that fully meets all five maternity care standards measured by the independent Leapfrog Hospital Survey: elective delivery rate, cesarean section rate, episiotomy rate, maternity care precaution standards, and high-risk deliveries (source: The Leapfrog Group)
  • One of two hospitals with the lowest cesarean section rates in San Diego County (source: Leapfrog), and one of only three hospitals in San Diego to meet nationwide goals for lowering cesarean section rates (source: HealthyPeople.gov)
  • Hospital with the highest rate of VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section) in San Diego County (source: CalQualityCare)
  • Nationally known for our breastfeeding support, with UC San Diego Health certified Baby-Friendly at its Hillcrest location since 2006

For more details on these and other standards, see the tables below. Unless otherwise noted, the statistics for UC San Diego Health outcomes are for the year of January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2015.

C-section rate at 37 weeks or later (lower is better)

UC San Diego Health 21.6%
California average26.5%
Healthy People 2020 target23.9% or lower

More about this measure

This measure applies to first-time mothers who delivered a single newborn in the head-down position at 37 weeks or later. In such "low-risk" pregnancies, C-sections should be avoided to reduce post-surgical infections and other complications and improve overall health outcomes for both mother and baby. A lower percentage is usually better, and hospitals with a C-section rate above 23.9% are outside the target goal set by Healthy People 2020, a national health promotion initiative. Hospitals such as UC San Diego Health that serve as referral centers for high-risk pregnancies, those with intensive care units for very sick babies, and those serving mothers who have not had the benefit of prenatal care may appropriately have higher C-section rates. A woman who prefers a vaginal birth should discuss this concern with her provider and look for a hospital with a low C-section rate. Source for California average: CalQualityCare

 

Exclusive breast milk feeding (higher is better)

​UC San Diego Health ​73%
​California average​66.5%

More about this measure

This measure shows the percentage of newborns that were fed only breast milk before being discharged from the hospital. Although there are many reasons that breastfeeding rates vary, it is considered good practice for hospital staff to support women who wish to breastfeed prior to discharge. A rate of 64.7% or higher is considered desirable. Source for California average: CalQualityCare

 

Vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC) (higher is better)

UC San Diego Health​ 27.5%
​California average​9.4%

More about this measure

This measure shows how often women with a prior cesarean section attempted vaginal delivery. Maternity providers have found that many women who have previously had a C-section do not need to deliver all future babies by C-section. A rate of 8.8% or higher is considered desirable. Source for California average: CalQualityCare

Episiotomy in vaginal deliveries (lower is better)

UC San Diego Health 1.5%
​California average11.6%​
​Leapfrog target​5% or lower

More about this measure

An episiotomy is a surgical cut in the vaginal opening to facilitate the birth of a baby. It was once a routine procedure, but recent studies show that this cut does not make the birth easier; may lead to more frequent and worse tears; and may result in short- and long-term harm in women. Providers and hospitals aim to do fewer episiotomies. In general, a lower rate is better. Source for California average: CalQualityCare

 

Screening newborns for jaundice before discharge (higher is better)

UC San Diego Health  99.95%
Leapfrog target​​80% or higher

More about this measure

UC San Diego Health screens all newborns for jaundice, a common condition that causes yellow discoloration in a newborn’s skin and eyes. Complications are rare, but in some cases, an underlying disease may cause jaundice. A rate of 80% or above is considered desirable

 

Preventing blood clots in women undergoing cesarean section (higher is better)

UC San Diego Health 98%
​Leapfrog target80% or higher

More about this measure

An 80% rate or higher is considered desirable.

Elective delivery between 37 and 39 weeks gestation (lower is better)

​UC San Diego Health 0%
​Leapfrog target​5% or lower

More about this measure

Early elective deliveries are normal newborn deliveries that are performed between 37 and 39 completed weeks of gestation without a medical necessity. Early elective deliveries can be dangerous, resulting in admissions to neonatal intensive care units, increased length of stay in the hospital for mother and baby, and higher costs to patients.

 

Antenatal steroids prior to delivery of pre-term newborn (higher is better)

​UC San Diego Health 100%
​Leapfrog target​80% or higher

More about this measure

This outcome measures the percentage of women who were given steroids before delivering a premature baby. Steroids before birth can help a premature baby’s lungs develop and improve other health outcomes.

 

Number of high-risk deliveries (higher is better)

​UC San Diego Health79 (January – December 2015)
​Leapfrog target 50 or higher​

More about this measure

High-risk deliveries occur when a pregnancy threatens the health or life of a mother or her fetus. Hospitals with experience in high-risk deliveries are better equipped to care for these types of situations. A volume of 50 or more high-risk deliveries is considered desirable to ensure that a facility and staff has sufficient experience. At UC San Diego Health, infants who weigh less than 1,500 grams at birth are cared for in our Level III neonatal intensive care unit.

About Quality Outcomes

UC San Diego Health is committed to providing the safest and highest quality care. To continually improve that care, we measure our performance against our own rigorous standards as well as outcomes at top medical centers nationwide. We believe that sharing our results with the public is an obligation and a critical factor in our mission of continuous improvement. Our progress in maintaining the highest standards of care is reflected in our accreditations, rankings and activities.