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Published on June 30, 2009

Overlake is Five-Star Rated for Maternity Care by HealthGrades®

Women Who Give Birth at Top Hospitals Have 76 Percent Fewer Complications for C-Section, 52 Percent Fewer for Vaginal Birth

Bellevue, WA (June 30, 2009) – Overlake Hospital Medical Center announced today that it has received the 2009/2010 Maternity Care Excellence Award™ from HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings organization. Overlake has been a recipient of the Maternity Care Excellence Award and received a five-star rating for three years in a row. And, Overlake ranks among the top five percent of the nation for maternity care.

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 inpatient treatment of 16 other procedures/diagnoses concerning women’s health.


“Our first patient at Overlake in 1960 was an expectant mother who gave birth to a healthy baby girl,” said Craig Hendrickson, president and CEO of Overlake Hospital Medical Center. “Since then, thousands of women have continued to choose Overlake’s Childbirth Center because of the nurturing care and support they receive throughout pregnancy, at the hospital and even after they go home. All aspects of our maternity care program, including the exceptional dedication of our physicians and staff, work together to get infants, mothers and their families off to a healthy start.”

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 percent fewer maternal complications among women who had vaginal births compared to poor-performing hospitals and 76 percent fewer complications among women who had C-sections. Patient-choice C-sections had the largest difference at 84 percent 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 major obstetrical complications during their hospital stay.
  • Best-performing hospitals had a 56 percent lower weight-stratified neonatal mortality compared to poor-performing hospitals.
  • C-section rates average approximately 32 percent 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

In addition, Overlake received the Patient Safety Excellence Award from HealthGrades for the past two years in a row, ranking it among the top five percent of hospitals in the nation for overall patient safety.