CesareanRates.org to publish state dashboards and track progress toward national low-risk cesarean birth rate

The Patient Safety Movement, a global non-profit working to eliminate preventable harm, applauds their efforts to reduce preventable deaths

Low-risk cesarean rates by state (2017) (Graphic: Business Wire)

IRVINE, Calif.--()--CesareanRates.org has published state dashboards to track progress toward the national low-risk cesarean birth rate target of 23.9 percent.

Overuse of cesarean birth at the population level is a significant contributor to maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations and researchers estimate that at least half of these deaths are preventable.

The low-risk cesarean birth rate of 23.9 percent, also called the NTSV cesarean birth rate, is one of the Maternal, Infant and Child Objectives, defined by Healthy People 2020, a federal project that benchmarks and measures progress over time toward health indicators. The target of 23.9 percent represents a 10 percent reduction from the 2007 baseline of 25.5 percent.

In addition to NTSV progress, CesareanRates.org state dashboards also feature data on maternal morbidity, procedure utilization and some chronic conditions that impact pregnancy outcomes. The Maternal Safety Foundation, the parent organization of CesareanRates.org, recently made a commitment to action to the Patient Safety Movement, a global non-profit, committed to eliminating preventable patient deaths in hospitals.

“Achieving transparency is the first step towards making measurable progress in patient safety. By partnering with CesareanRates.org, we can provide state progress on maternal safety and help providers use data to make better decisions,” explained Joe Kiani, Founder and Chairman of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation.

According to Jill Arnold, executive director of the Maternal Safety Foundation and its CesareanRates.org program, the goal of making these numbers available is to refresh the narrative on cesarean rates and other metrics of maternal procedure utilization and quality.

“We read media stories regularly about the rising cesarean rate, when in fact the measure that the country’s maternity care providers have been tasked with lowering has plateaued,” said Arnold.

“Journalists frequently cite an outdated World Health Organization target percentage range of 10 to 15 percent for all cesarean births. In the United States, we currently measure quality based on the proportion of cesarean births experienced by first-time moms with full term, singleton pregnancies with the baby in the head-down position. The current national rate of cesarean births among this population is 26 percent, about 24,000 c-sections annually in excess of the target rate.”

Arnold is a member of the PSMF workgroup that created the Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) on optimizing obstetric safety, which includes postpartum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, and reducing unnecessary c-sections. The APSS are evidence-based solutions created by leading medical experts and patient advocates to eliminate preventable patient harm in hospitals.

CesareanRates.org hopes that these state dashboards will inspire secondary analysis by the scientific community on topics related to maternal health, patient safety and method of delivery.

About CesareanRates.org:

CesareanRates.org is a program of the Maternal Safety Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization working to continuously improve the quality and safety of maternal health care in the United States through advancing quality improvement, transparency, and education. For more information, visit www.maternal.info

About Patient Safety Movement Foundation:

More than 200,000 people die every year in U.S. hospitals and 4.8 million worldwide in ways that could have been prevented. The Patient Safety Movement Foundation is a global non-profit which creates free tools for patients and hospitals. The Patient Safety Movement Foundation was established through the support of the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation, and Competition in Healthcare to reduce that number of preventable deaths to ZERO. Improving patient safety will require a collaborative effort from all stakeholders, including patients, healthcare providers, medical technology companies, government, employers, and private payers. The Patient Safety Movement Foundation works with all stakeholders to address the problems with actionable solutions for patient safety. The Foundation also convenes the World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit. The Summit brings together some of the world’s best minds for thought-provoking discussions and new ideas to challenge the status quo. By presenting specific, high-impact solutions to meet patient safety challenges, called Actionable Patient Safety Solutions, encouraging medical technology companies to share the data their products are purchased for, and asking hospitals to make commitments to implement Actionable Patient Safety Solutions, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation is working toward ZERO preventable deaths. Visit patientsafetymovement.org.


Patient Safety Movement Foundation
Jill Arnold, 479-385-7977

Release Summary

Patient Safety Movement applauds CesareanRates.org efforts to publish state dashboards and track progress toward national low-risk cesarean birth rate


Patient Safety Movement Foundation
Jill Arnold, 479-385-7977