Memorial recognized for best in class for obstetrical care

Several of Washington State’s largest employers are recognizing Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital for its superior obstetrical care.  A program called “Grand Rounds in Washington State” monitors trends in publically reported quality and safety issues including:  overuse of the Emergency Department, readmissions, obstetrical care, and cardiac, cancer and spine care.

Human resources consultant Mercer collaborated with The Boeing Company, Microsoft, Costco, Starbucks, the Washington State Health Care Authority, the Carpenters Trust and King County to create the Grand Rounds program.  Grand Rounds is a three year project that identifies “Best in Class” programs to improve the health of all Washington residents.  Representatives from Mercer and the Carpenters Trust presented Memorial with an award on May 29th.

“Memorial has one of the best c-section rates in the country and is second in the state for vaginal births after caesarian,” said Dr. Jeff Thompson, senior consultant with Mercer.   “You are improving health, delivering better care and reducing cost which is what is needed in health care today.”

When compared to other hospitals statewide, Memorial stood out in several categories:  deliveries, low risk caesarian sections, vaginal birth after caesarian section, and 37 to 39-week early elective deliveries. The table shows the statewide number or goal compared to Memorial’s numbers:


Metric Statewide # or goal Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital
Deliveries 84,000 per year 2,878 per year (3% of total deliveries statewide)
Low risk caesarian sections Less than 20% 13.3% with a decreasing trend
Vaginal birth after caesarian section Greater than 20% 38.6% with an increasing trend (2nd best in state)
37-39 week early elective delivery Less than 5% 0.5%  (best in state)


“We have a terrific team of nurses and support staff that are responsible for the great outcomes we are seeing at Memorial,” said Roger Rowles, MD, medical director for the Family Birthplace at Memorial.  “Our success can also be attributed to the fact that we have consistent staffing—a team that’s been together for several years and the great financial and emotional support from the administration at Memorial.”

The next step will be for Memorial to work with the Grand Rounds collaborative to explore ways to share best practices across the state to improve outcomes for mothers and babies.

“We are grateful to Dr. Rowles for his leadership at Memorial and statewide on issues pertaining to obstetrical care and perinatal health,” said Sandy Dahl, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Memorial.  “We are fortunate to have such skilled providers in our community who work with us to provide the best possible care for our patients.”

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