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National Survey of Maternity Services Released

A group advocating for more transparency in maternity care released a new survey today that rates local health care facilities. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.The Birth Survey was compiled by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services. It collected feedback from women around the country who have given birth about their experiences with doctors, midwives, hospitals and birth centers and put them online.Robin Elise Weiss is a local birth educator who helped design the survey."Our goal is to increase the transparency so that the public has access to this information about the local birth providers and the facilities," Weiss says. "We want people to be better informed about their care."The Birth Survey includes ratings and the proportion of obstetric intervention rates, such as c-sections, at hospitals and birth centers.Weiss says the detailed information in the survey can help women make choices about maternity care."For example, if you call up a practitioner’s office today and just ask what’s the local cesarean rate in your group, chances are you’re not going to get an answer," she says. "If you ask them how clean their facility is, how long you wait for an average appointment, that’ the kind of information that we hope to gather in parts of our survey."Weiss says the coalition plans to update the survey each year and that next year it will have more information.Locally, Clark Memorial Hospital received the most responses from women who gave birth there within the past three years.