Over the last 15 years California has seen a continual rise in three key benchmarks of maternity care: the rates of maternal mortality, cesarean section utilization, and elective deliveries. The surgical delivery of babies, also known as cesarean delivery, has jumped 50% in California over the last decade with no demonstrated improvement in outcomes over vaginal childbirth. C-sections now account for 33% of births in California, raising the potential risks for surgical infections, placental complications in future pregnancies, and higher costs to patients and society.
To reverse these trends, improve care, and inform decisionmaking, California’s payers, providers, and patients need timely information about the quality of maternity care being delivered. The California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), a nonprofit multi-stakeholder group with expertise in evaluating variation in the quality of maternity care and leading hospital quality improvement programs, aims to fill this gap.
In 2011, CMQCC established the California Maternal Data Center (CMDC) to collect data on maternity care practices and generate clinically meaningful metrics that will be:
- Reported back to providers in rapid-cycle fashion to motivate care improvements
- Reported publicly to consumers and other stakeholders over time to better inform decisionmaking
One key objective of CMDC is to minimize the burden of data collection on hospitals; it draws upon existing hospital discharge and birth certificate data that hospitals already collect and report to the state and it benefits from data sharing partnerships with the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) and the California Department of Public Health, including the Vital Records division.
Over 90 California hospitals — representing 50% of deliveries per year — have already signed on to participate in CMDC. To learn more about CMDC, try the interactive demonstration site, and find out how your hospital can join the effort, visit the website through the External Link below.
CMDC is supported by funds from the California Health Care Foundation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Reproductive Health.
In the video below, Dr. Elliott Main, medical director of CMQCC, talks about what drives the work of the data center.