Newly Published
Correspondence  |   January 2020
Measuring Childbirth Outcomes: Comment
Author Notes
  • Foundation for Health Care Quality, Seattle, Washington (K.S.). ksitcov@qualityhealth.org
  • Accepted for publication January 2, 2020.
    Accepted for publication January 2, 2020.×
Article Information
Correspondence
Correspondence   |   January 2020
Measuring Childbirth Outcomes: Comment
Anesthesiology Newly Published on January 29, 2020. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000003167
Anesthesiology Newly Published on January 29, 2020. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000003167
We read with interest “Measuring Childbirth Outcomes Using Administrative and Birth Certificate Data” and applaud Glance et al.1  for creating a composite quality metric that uses both maternal and newborn administrative data. We are proud that Glance et al. have chosen to apply their expertise to current challenges in maternity care, and we thank the Editor for publishing. We agree with their recommendation that administrative data be submitted by all hospitals to a national maternal quality improvement database, but we argue that clinical data are superior and obtainable and should also be attempted.
Administrative data alone lack the granularity to provide information as to why a hospital is an outlier and to allow providers to determine the changes in the process of care needed to improve outcomes in their population. Clinical data from the electronic health record not only provide this critical piece of the puzzle but also the ability to discern the impact of changes in practice through monitoring detailed balancing metrics. Simply reporting rates is not enough: Improvement in maternal and newborn outcomes should be the overarching goal of any national obstetric quality database.