Section: News

Flagler Hospital Five-Star Rated for Maternity Care by HealthGrades

Flagler Hospital Five-Star Rated for Maternity Care by HealthGrades

St. Augustine, FL (July 7, 2009) –   Flagler Hospital today announced that it has received a  Maternity Care  Five-Star Rating from HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings organization. Flagler Hospital was the only hospital in the Jacksonville region to earn this five star rating.

Wide gaps in quality outcomes for maternity care persist, according to a new study released today by HealthGrades. The Sixth Annual HealthGrades Women’s Health in American Hospitals study analyzes patient outcomes for maternity care and inhospital treatment of 16 other procedures/diagnoses concerning women’s health.

“Our maternity care program has earned a long-standing reputation for excellence in our own community,” stated Flagler Hospital CEO Joe Gordy. “We are obviously very pleased that our program’s success has now earned national recognition by one of America’s most well-respected research and ratings agencies.  As we move forward with the addition of our level II neonatal intensive care unit in the coming year, our focus will remain on bringing St. Johns County and surrounding communities the very best in maternity care.”

Study findings include the following:

The difference in quality of care between maternity programs is substantial for both vaginal and C-section deliveries: the best-performing hospitals had 52% fewer maternal complications among women who had vaginal births compared to poor-performing hospitals and 76% fewer complications among women who had C-sections. Patient-choice C-sections had the largest difference at 84% between best- and poor-performing hospitals.

If all hospitals, among the 19 states studied, performed at the level of the best-performing hospitals from 2005 through 2007, 182,129 women may have avoided developing one or more inhospital major obstetrics complications.

Best-performing hospitals had a 56% lower weight-stratified neonatal mortality compared to poor-performing hospitals.

C-section rates average approximately 32% among the 19 states studied.

“Choosing the hospital where you will have your baby is a major decision in a woman’s life,” said Dr. Rick May, senior physician consultant with HealthGrades and a study co-author. “This study highlights the differences in quality between hospitals and gives women information to make an informed choice about where they will have their baby.”

In the study, HealthGrades analyzed approximately 13 million hospital delivery and neonate records from 2005 through 2007 in more than 1,500 hospitals in 19 all-payer states for this study and identified 218 hospitals as being five-star rated in maternity care.

The full study can be found at

About Flagler Hospital

Flagler Hospital is a 316-bed acute care hospital that is consistently recognized nationally for overall clinical excellence.  Flagler was named among U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals 2007” and was Northeast Florida’s first hospital to receive the ANCC Magnet hospital award.  Thomson Reuters also named Flagler Hospital among the nation’s Top 100 Performance Improvement Leaders for the past three consecutive years. Most recently, the hospital earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Care Centers, Center of Excellence Designation for its Bariatric Surgery Center and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer. For more information about Flagler Hospital, please visit us at