Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Does your hospital get the simple things right?

The professional society (i.e. ACOG) which provides guidelines for obstetricians that say, in a nutshell, that say inducing labor before 39 weeks without a clear indication is simply not a good idea.  The DSP blog was not there when this edict was officially issued, so it has to speculate why ACOG recommends against the practice, but it thinks it may have to do with the minor issues of this practice a) increasing the chance the baby is born before it can breathe using only it's built in ventilator, and b) increasing the chance the baby will have to take a tour through the mom's abdomen on its way out, instead of another, perhaps more natural route.

If the recommendations are so clear about not inducing labor before 39 weeks, then would you want to go to a hospital where this was done more than half the time?  If these hospitals can't deliver on this one simple guideline, how well are they going to deliver on something a little more complicated?  How would a driver's seat patient know how well their hospital was doing in this arena?  You might find yours listed on this list.  The DSP blog found it concerning that not a small number of hospitals reported getting this wrong over 25% of the time (including one hospital that got it wrong 100% of the time).  What was even more concerning was the hospitals that either "declined to respond" or felt that the recommendations apparently did not apply to them.

Clearly, the DSP blog is against patients playing Dr. Google.  But at some level, if you are in the Driver's Seat, and you know a hospital gets this simple directive wrong so often, the DSP blog might start looking at the map for a hospital that was a little more successful getting the simple things right.

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