Story by: Maggie Roetker on December 7, 2023
Norton Women’s Care, which encompasses childbirth services at Norton Hospital and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital, has been recognized as High Performing in Adult Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy) by U.S. News & World Report. The designation is the highest award a hospital system can earn in the U.S. News list of Best Hospitals for Maternity Care. This is the third year in a row U.S. News has published a list of Best Hospitals for Maternity Care, and Norton Women’s Care is the only provider in Kentucky to have received the award all three years. It also is the only one in Louisville to receive the award for 2023-2024.
The U.S. News Best Hospitals for Maternity Care methodology is based on objective measures of quality around outcomes, process and structure. To be ranked as high performing, hospitals and health systems need to score significantly higher than average on eight quality measures. These are low number of avoidable cesarean sections, rare newborn complications, rare/never scheduled early deliveries, episiotomy rates less than 5%, tracking and reporting race- and ethnicity-specific performance measures, strong breastfeeding rate and high support of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery. The survey also looked at whether a hospital meets federal criteria for “birthing-friendly” practices.
Of the 680 hospitals in the country that submitted information for evaluation by U.S. News & World Report, only 311 were ranked high performing.
“The goal of our Norton Women’s Care team is to provide all patients with a safe place for childbirth,” said Mary L. Schubert, DNP, MSN, NEA-BC, FAWHONN, system vice president, women’s services, Norton Healthcare. “This means looking at physical needs during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond, while also treating everyone with dignity and providing compassionate care.”
“Hospitals that receive a High Performing designation as part of Best Hospitals for Maternity Care meet a high standard in caring for parents with uncomplicated pregnancies,” said Jennifer Winston, health data scientist, U.S. News. “These hospitals have C-section rates that are 26% lower and newborn complication rates that are 37% lower than unrecognized hospitals that participated in the survey. Parents-to-be can research their local hospitals’ performance metrics for free at health.usnews.com to help them choose where to have their baby.”
“Receiving this High Performing award for the third time shows that our care matches our high standards,” Schubert said.
Caregivers at Norton Healthcare’s two Norton Women’s Care birthing locations deliver more than 8,000 babies a year. While many of those deliveries are uncomplicated, Norton Women’s Care also specializes in high-risk deliveries, with a specialty maternal-fetal medicine program and connection to specialists in two neonatal intensive care units. A Level IV NICU at Norton Children’s Hospital offers the highest level of care to critically ill and premature infants. A Level III NICU is at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital.
Norton Healthcare ranks as High Performing for eight other procedures and conditions: heart attack, heart failure, aortic valve surgery, heart bypass surgery, stroke, prostate cancer surgery, hip replacement and knee replacement.
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