Spectrum Health Lakeland Among Michigan Elite for Excellence in Maternity Care

If you’re having a baby in Michigan’s Great Southwest, at least one group who cares about where you go suggests that you’ll be in excellent hands right at home at Spectrum Health Lakeland.

The local hospital system based in St. Joseph with operations in Niles and Watervliet, is among just eleven Michigan hospitals awarded for excellence and improvement in maternity care for 2019.

The Economic Alliance for Michigan, or EAM, has awarded hospitals throughout Michigan that have demonstrated excellence and improvement in maternity care and delivery outcomes for a second consecutive year.

The awards are part of EAM’s Maternity Care Project. Created in 2018, the project goals are to reduce the rate of unnecessary C-sections in the state, decrease infant mortality and reduce elective early deliveries.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Michigan had the 13th highest infant mortality rate in the country in 2017. With higher mortality rates, come higher costs especially for large employers. They ask how can these employers contribute to the reduction of infant mortality in the state? Bret Jackson, EAM President, say, “To start, employers can look at their own data and research which hospitals service their population and compare procedures and the associated costs.” He adds, “Other ways are by promoting prenatal care and educating employees and their dependents on the dangers associated with unnecessary c-sections and early elective delivery.”

For the award, hospitals were evaluated in four areas:

  • Cesarean rates (≤ 29.3-percent of low-risk deliveries)
  • Episiotomy rates (≤ 5-percent of deliveries)
  • Elective early delivery rates (≤ 5-percent of deliveries)
  • Maternity care processes (90-percent or greater).

The data is from The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C. based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers.

To be awarded the Excellence Award, hospitals need to fully meet the standard in all four areas in the same calendar year. Recipients of the 2019 Maternity Care Excellence Award are:

  • Bronson Hospital, Battle Creek
  • Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
  • Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Grand Rapids
  • Metro Health, Wyoming
  • Munson Medical Center, Traverse City
  • Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, Fremont
  • Spectrum Health Lakeland, St. Joseph
  • Spectrum Health Pennock Hospital, Hastings
  • Spectrum Health United Hospital, Greenville

For the Improvement Award, hospitals must have demonstrated rate decreases in cesarean rates, episiotomy and elective early delivery over a two-year period, and must now fully meet the standard for cesarean delivery rates. Recipients of the 2019 Maternity Care Improvement Award are:

  • Munson Grayling Hospital, Grayling
  • Spectrum Health Lakeland, Niles

Two hospitals decreased their unnecessary cesarean rates by ten percent or more:

  • Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids with a 12.9 percent reduction
  • Spectrum Lakeland in Niles with a 15.6 percent reduction

Jackson says, “On behalf of the EAM and our members, I applaud the efforts of this year’s recipients and ask the birth centers in the state who do not report outcomes to The Leapfrog Group to step-up to the plate and be more transparent by participating in the annual survey.”

The Maternity Care Project provides details for each birth center in Michigan, providing a mom-to-be invaluable information in making her choice for hospital maternity care. To compare birth centers, you can click this link: