WHERE DOES THE INFORMATION IN THE DIRECTORY COME FROM?
The text of the listings for hospitals, birth centers and home birth providers on BirthGuideChicago.com was initially assembled by BirthGuide, primarily from content on the providers’ own websites. Except for the C-section, VBAC and breastfeeding data, each provider was then offered the opportunity to review, edit and supplement the information on its own listing —either through an interview or using the on-line Edit Listing Form. BirthGuide makes a final edit for wording and tone (but not factual information). Text in quotes in the Maternity Care Statement has not been edited.
BirthGuide makes reasonable efforts to ensure that the information provided is accurate, complete and up-to-date, subject to its Terms & Conditions of Use. However, the providers’ practices and offerings can change. Check directly with your provider to confirm any information that is important to you.
Filters |”Options and amenities”
BirthGuide researched the options offered by each provider using publicly available information, and entered that information in the check boxes for each listing. (The check boxes are found in the left column of each listing on the desktop version of the site, and in the “Options and amenities” screen on the mobile version of the site.) Most of these fields are searchable filters.
Each provider was then offered the opportunity to review, edit and supplement their information either through an interview or using an on-line Edit Listing Form.
Where an option or amenity is NOT “checked” for a particular provider, it means either that:
- The provider does not offer that option or amenity; or
- The provider does not provide information about that option or amenity on its website and did not provide that information to BirthGuide by interview or using its on-line Edit Listing Form.
Where an option or amenity IS “checked” for a particular provider, it means either that:
- The provider’s website lists that option as being available; or
- The provider communicated to BirthGuide that it offers that option, either by interview or using its on-line Edit Listing Form.
Providers can request updates to the information in their listings at any time by contacting BirthGuide using the Contact Us form.
BirthGuide makes reasonable efforts to ensure that the information provided is accurate, complete and up-to-date, subject always to its Terms & Conditions of Use. However, the providers’ practices and offerings can change. Check directly with your provider to confirm any information that is important to you.
Risk-Adjusted C-Section and VBAC data from the Illinois Hospital Report Card
The Overall C-Section Rate, Primary C-Section Rate, VBAC Rate and number of VBACs for each hospital reported on BirthGuideChicago were downloaded from the Illinois Hospital Report Card on 12/28/2021. The rates reflect data for the period Oct 1, 2019 – Sept 30, 2020.
The rates are risk-adjusted by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) using the All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (APR-DRGs), which is a proprietary tool of the 3M Health Information Systems Corporation.
According to IDPH, the risk-adjusted rates are the estimated performance of hospitals if they had an ‘average’ mix of patients, known as “case mix.” Estimates of the average case mix reflect the distribution in age, sex, and risk of mortality and severity of illness. Here is how IDPH explains its process:
Some hospitals tend to treat higher-risk patients who have a greater chance of dying following a surgical procedure or treatment for a serious medical condition. To assure all Illinois hospitals are assessed fairly, IDPH uses statistical risk adjustment to account for patient differences. Inpatient mortality indicators and patient safety indicators presented here have been risk-adjusted using the All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (APR-DRGs), a proprietary tool of the 3M Health Information Systems Corporation. Risk-adjusted rates are the estimated performance of hospitals if they had an ‘average’ mix of patients, known as “case mix”. Estimates of the average case mix reflect the distribution in age, sex, and risk of mortality and severity of illness. For specific information about the adjustments used, please consult http://www.qualityindicators.ahrq.gov/pqi_overview.htm”
To learn more about how these rates are adjusted using the APR-DRGs, follow the links below:
Any hospital that believes its rates are misreported should contact BirthGuide.
Breastfeeding rates from the IDPH Illinois Hospital Report Card
Breastfeeding rates come from the Illinois Hospital Report Card. The rates were pulled on 10/15/2020. The rates reflect data from calendar year 2017.
Here is how the Illinois Department of Public Health explains its methodology:
The breast feeding measures are calculated from birth certificate data submitted by birthing hospitals to the Vital Records program of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Questions about breast feeding were incorporated as part of the US Standard Certificate Revisions recommended by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). In January 2013, the question for breast feeding was revised. The question asks:
How is the infant being fed? (breast milk only, formula only, both breast milk and formula, neither breast milk nor formula, unknown)
Breastfeeding is reported by hospital as the percentage of infants who are exclusively breastfed, exclusively formula fed, and infants who received any breastfeeding (those who are exclusively breastfed or who received both breast milk and formula). The denominator for all measures is the number of total births in the hospital.
These counts are based on self-reporting of the mothers and hospital staff. The rates are preliminary estimates and subject to ongoing and annual data revision. As such, these counts may vary for the same period based on final counts produced annually.
Any hospital that believes its rates are misreported should contact BirthGuide.
Self-reported C-section, VBAC and Exclusive Breastfeeding rates for midwives
Home birth providers, midwife-led birth centers and hospitals that have a midwife service were given the option to self-report C-section, VBAC and breastfeeding rates separately for their midwives. Those C-section and VBAC rates are designated “Not Risk Adjusted.” In all cases, the self-reported C-section rates reflect the percent of women who began labor with the midwives (whether at home, in a birth center or in the hospital), and then transferred to a hospital surgical suite in order to have a C-section.
The C-section and VBAC outcomes scales for hospitals (“As compared to other Chicago-area hospitals, this rate is: among the lowest / medium low / medium high / among the highest”) are computed by calculating the standard deviation for each rate for the population of Chicago-area hospitals listed on BirthGuide — which is all hospitals in Cook, Dupage, Lake and Will counties that were listed on the Illinois Health Report Card on 4/20/2020. Any hospital whose rate for a particular outcome deviates from the mean by one standard deviation or more is listed as “among the lowest” or “among the highest.” (On the mobile version of the site, they are listed as “low” and “high”.) Any hospital whose rate for a particular outcome deviates from the mean by less than one standard deviation is listed as “medium low” or “medium high.” (On the mobile version of the site, they are listed as “med-low” and “med-high”.)
Outcomes categories for home birth, midwife-led birth centers and hospital-based midwives who self-report their rates are not included in the calculation of the mean or standard deviation. They are assigned to an outcome category using the same scale, but are flagged as being “not risk-adjusted”.
Other intervention rates
The rates for Overall Induction, Early Elective Induction, Epidural and Episiotomy are self-reported by each facility.