NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Development of a maternity hospital classification for use in perinatal research

Michael O. Falster, Christine L. Roberts, Jane Ford, Jonathan Morris, Ann Kinnear, Michael Nicholl

NSW Public Health Bulletin 23(2) 12-16 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/NB11026 Published: 28 March 2012

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About the author/s

Michael O. Falster | Clinical and Population Perinatal Research, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW Biostatistical Officer Training Program, NSW Department of Health

Christine L. Roberts | Clinical and Population Perinatal Research, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital

Jane Ford | Clinical and Population Perinatal Research, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital

Jonathan Morris | Clinical and Population Perinatal Research, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, The University of Sydney at Royal North Shore Hospital

Ann Kinnear | Primary Health and Community Partnerships, NSW Department of Health

Michael Nicholl | Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, The University of Sydney at Royal North Shore Hospital , Primary Health and Community Partnerships, NSW Department of Health

Corresponding author

Christine L. Roberts | christine.roberts@sydney.edu.au

Abstract

AbstractWe aimed to develop a maternity hospital classification, using stable and easily available criteria, that would have wide application in maternity services research and allow comparison across state, national and international jurisdictions. A classification with 13 obstetric groupings (12 hospital groups and home births) was based on neonatal care capability, urban and rural location, annual average number of births and public/private hospital status. In a case study of early elective birth we demonstrate that neonatal morbidity differs according to the maternity hospital classification, and also that the 13 groups can be collapsed in ways that are pragmatic from a clinical and policy decision-making perspective, and are manageable for analysis.