ORLANDO, Fla., December 4, 2019 – The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced AdventHealth for Women Orlando as one of 19 hospitals in Florida to achieve the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) Maternal and Child Health goal, focused on reducing cesarean section deliveries for first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies.
AHCA and DOH recognized AdventHealth for Women during the Florida Hospital Association’s annual meeting on Oct. 24 during the Celebration of Achievement in Quality and Service Awards Ceremony.
Cesarean births, or C-sections, can increase the risk of hemorrhage, infection, and the potential for adverse outcomes in future pregnancies, as well as psychological stress, longer hospital stays, increased pain, and increased postpartum readmissions. For the baby, some of the consequences can include a longer hospital stay as well as admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Once a woman has a C-section, she has a greater chance of having a C-section for subsequent births, increasing her risk of these major birth complications.
The high rate of low-risk cesarean births is a major maternal and child health issue nationwide and many organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have made reduction in this rate a priority. C-section rates for first-time low-risk pregnancies in Florida delivery hospitals vary widely and range from 13% to 60%.
AdventHealth for Women’s C-section rate in 2018 was 23.7%, below the national goal of 23.9%. This is the second year in a row that AdventHealth for Women has been recognized.
“While a cesarean birth is a lifesaving procedure when vaginal delivery is no longer a safe option, there has been a rise in cesarean rates across the country without associated improvement in health outcomes for women or newborns,” said Dr. Lori Boardman, Executive Medical Director at AdventHealth for Women, “Efforts to safely reduce the first C-section are particularly important given the long-term risk of morbidities associated with repeat cesarean birth.”
In response to the rise of unnecessary C-sections across the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted the HP2020 target of reducing nationwide C-section rates for low-risk births to 23.9%.
The goal of the Florida Award Program for Safely Reducing C-sections is to highlight the importance of this health care quality issue statewide and to recognize those hospitals that are contributing to providing quality health care for mothers and infants.