The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) has released results from their birth provider and facility consumer feedback survey at www.thebirthsurvey.com. You may have noticed our link to The Birth Survey over the past several months – this resource is the result of those survey submissions, and includes more than 17,500 ratings for providers and 6,500 ratings for facilities.
The website provides:
…feedback on obstetricians, midwives, hospitals, birth centers, and home birth services. The consumer reviews include overall ratings and recommendations for birth facilities and care providers, and also a seven-item set of questions on providers’ interpersonal and communication skills, facility intervention rates [for nine states at present-ed.], and information on finding good care. A national average of ratings is also displayed to provide comparison with individual ratings.
Elan McAllister, founder of Choices in Childbirth in New York City and co-chair of the The Birth Survey committee says of the project and resulting web resource:
“A woman who looks at a list of names from her insurance company is often choosing a provider on nothing but blind luck. Where and with whom to give birth are important health care decisions. Research shows that both provider and location have a significant impact on birth outcomes. CIMS wants expectant parents to ask questions of their providers and facilities, and have access to more information about their local options.”
In addition to the currently available provider and facility rankings, there is more to come – according to the press release, “in the summer of 2009, free-text responses will be displayed on the website, and in 2010, detailed information on patients’ experiences with prenatal, labor, birth and postpartum care will be added to the website as searchable custom reports.”
We’re excited about the new resource – a first of its kind – for the very reason described by Robin Elise Weiss, author of “The Complete Illustrated Guide to Pregnancy” and member of The Birth Survey Committee:
“While consumers have long been sharing information online about products and services, more data was available for the purchase of a digital camera than had ever been available to women as consumers of maternity care. The Birth Survey directly addresses that information deficit.”
Our congratulations and thanks go to CIMS, for all their work in creating the survey and making the results available to all.