In 2010 Health Policy Institute and rodinka.sk in Slovakia started Maternity Hospital Guide. It is a project to monitor and improve quality of care in Labor and Delivery Rooms.
In Slovakia, there is around 56.000 births and around 60.000 newborns a year. There are 54 labor and delivery units available to women to give birth but the quality of care is sometimes inconsistent.
This issue is really important in this area since the birth is the second most common cause of hospitalization in Slovakia (birth 2nd, spontaneous delivery ranked 3rd, and Cesarean section 8th place). Often it is only one hospitalization in women’s life.
Expectant mothers with uncomplicated pregnancy have an option to choose Labor and Delivery Unit (L&DU) before going to active labor. The process of making an informed choice is mostly influenced by information about quality of care that is offered. Insufficient information was available to make informed choice and no relevant medical quality indicators were available. The goal was to develop a best set of obstetric quality indicators applicable in Slovak environment to assess the compliance of provided care based on best scientific evidence, to rate patients’ satisfaction with their pregnancy care, and to monitor all the services every L&DU in Slovakia offers and also to provide free access to collected data for all pregnant women in Slovakia.
This project brings a new quality assessment in L&DU on the Internet so that pregnant women do not have to rely solely on secondary sources of information on the quality of the discussions on the forum, but they can read the direct information from Labor & Delivery Units itself. Annually all participating hospitals are issued a certificate.
The project Maternity Hospital Guide reached its third year of great progress and success in 2012 and 2013. It integrated leading experts in perinatology, mothers, patient organization and families. There were more than 3.100 mothers’ evaluations this year, which is almost 6% of all deliveries in Slovakia. 14 most important Slovak experts and 1 American expert in perinatology were involved to develop criteria for the expert evaluation. More than 7.500 mothers filled out the questionnaire and the webpage www.sprievodcaporodnicami.sk had more then 100.000 unique visitors and more then 640.000 page views in 2 years.