DENVER, June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthgrades, the leading online resource that helps consumers search, evaluate, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals, today issued the Healthgrades Women's Health Report 2013: "Lean in" When Making Healthcare Decisions to Get Your Best Outcome. The report, which recognizes the best performing hospitals for maternity care, gynecologic surgery, as well as hospitals that excelled in the treatment of women across 15 of the most common hospital-based conditions and procedures, urges women to take action, ask questions, investigate options and challenge the health system to provide them the best care possible.
Despite the anatomical differences between the sexes, scientists have only begun, in the last one to two decades, to conduct research to uncover the biological and physiological differences between men and women. As such, many women do not know that they are more vulnerable to some diseases, may have different symptoms, or react differently to some medications.
"For women, understanding their unique health risks, as well as the potential impact they will incur relative to variations in quality of care can help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and complications,' said Evan Marks, EVP, Informatics and Strategy, Healthgrades. "Consumers can be confident that the hospitals recognized within the Healthgrades Women's Health Report 2013 have demonstrated a commitment to exceptional clinical quality care in women's health."
Healthgrades 2013 Maternity Care Excellence Award™
To help consumers evaluate and compare hospital performance in maternity care, Healthgrades analyzed patient outcome data for virtually every hospital in the 18 states that provide all-payer state data representing 55% of all hospital discharges in the U.S. for years 2009 through 2011. Maternity Care ratings are based on the analysis and equal weighting of the following factors:
- Maternal complication rate among women undergoing vaginal deliveries
- Maternal complication rate among women undergoing C-sections
- Number of newborn deliveries adjusted for low birth weight
- Newborn risk-adjusted mortality
The variation in hospital performance can make a difference in terms of clinical outcomes. The Healthgrades report highlights that patients treated at 5-star rated hospitals had 55% fewer complications during a vaginal childbirth delivery and 77% fewer during a C-section delivery than those treated at 1-star rated hospitals.
Healthgrades 2013 Gynecologic Surgery Excellence Award™
Gynecologic surgery includes surgery on the female reproductive system to treat benign tumors, cancer, infertility, incontinence, and various other conditions. Hysterectomy accounted for the majority (75.4%) of all procedures evaluated. To help consumers evaluate and compare hospital performance in gynecologic surgery, Healthgrades analyzed patient outcome data for all patients (all-payer data) provided by 18 individual states representing 55% of all hospital discharges in the U.S. for years 2009 through 2011.
"One of the disheartening findings in this report is that only 30% of hysterectomies are done using minimally invasive surgery (vaginal or laparoscopic), yet evidence suggests that 90% of hysterectomies can be performed this way, reducing pain, hospitals stays, disability and scarring," said Archelle Georgiou, MD, a strategic advisor to Healthgrades. "Women need to 'lean in,' taking personal responsibility for their own health which includes selecting the right doctor with the right expertise to deliver the best care."
Healthgrades 2013 Women's Health Excellence Award™
Hospitals recognized as Healthgrades 2013 Women's Health Excellence Award recipients have the potential to save women's lives. Given the biological and physiological differences between the genders, women tend to be more or less vulnerable to some conditions, exhibit different symptoms, or react differently to treatments and procedures. The Healthgrades report found that:
- Women fare worse in the treatment of common cardiovascular diseases. For example, in Coronary Artery Bypass Graft procedure, women had a 36.9% higher risk of in-hospital mortality rate compared to men.
- Women fare better in the treatment of bone and joint conditions. For example, in Hip Replacement procedure, women had a 29.9% lower risk of in-hospital complications compared to men.
- Although women's risks for mortality in other common conditions is lower than that for men, more women than men were hospitalized for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (57.9%), Pneumonia (52.7%) and Stroke (53.3%).
To help consumers evaluate and compare hospital performance in women's health, Healthgrades evaluated hospitals from all 50 states and the District of Columbia for their performance in caring for women in 15 common hospital-based conditions and procedures from 2009 through 2011. Compared to hospitals that performed in the bottom 10%, Healthgrades Women's Health Excellence Award recipients as a group had a 55% lower mortality rate across eight conditions and procedures and a 21% lower complication rate across seven conditions and procedures. If all hospitals nationwide performed at the level of the Healthgrades Women's Health Excellence Award hospitals:
- 46,317 women's lives could have potentially been saved
- 21,285 women could have potentially avoided in-hospital complications
For more information about Healthgrades, to see the complete list of hospitals recognized and related methodology, or to download a full copy of the report, please visit: www.Healthgrades.com/quality.
Healthgrades, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. More than 225 million visitors use the Healthgrades websites to search, evaluate, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals that best meet their treatment needs. Consumers are empowered through use of the Healthgrades proprietary information about clinical outcomes, satisfaction, safety, and health conditions to make more informed healthcare decisions and take action. For more information please visit www.healthgrades.com and www.bettermedicine.com.
 Kovac SR. Vaginal hysterectomy. In: Rock JA, Jones HW, Te Linde's Operative Gynecology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008;744–5.
 CMS MedPAR Data (2009-2011)