Looking for something? Start here.
Custom Search




« I Imagine I've Been Called Worse Things Than a Box | Monday Open Thread »

New Maternity Care Data Visualization from Childbirth Connection

Bookmark and Share


By Jill Arnold

Childbirth Connection hosted a Health 2.0 Developer Challenge to visualize maternity care data, including outcomes, cost, procedure use and variation. Damien Leri and Ian Bennett, MD, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania answered the call and their clean, consumer-friendly site won the challenge.

Damien Leri presenting Mapping Health at the Health 2.0 Spring Fling in San Diego, CA


Check out the interactive states map on Mapping Health.


Mapping Health is included as a resource in the Data Center (Resources > Data Center) on the Transforming Maternity Care site, which was just launched by Childbirth Connection.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (17)

Interesting tool. Really highlights the disparities in outcomes in the south.

Disappointed to see the 12 free standing birth centers in Washington State weren't included, presumably because none are accredited with the American Association of Birth Centers...though several are members.

April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Chalmers

Right off the bat I can see 4 very serious problems with the data.

1. It does not correct for either race (which is closely associated with risks level) or for risk level itself. In other words, it is based on the assumption that the racial composition and risk level of all populations is the same, whereas both have wide variations among populations.

2. It presents the rising cost of C-section without any comparison to the rising cost of other medical procedures and therefore encourages a false correlation between C-section cost and C-section rate.

3. Cost comparisons among various types of deliveries fail to take into account the fact that delivery types are not interchangeable and that mortality rates would be quite different if the C-section rate were lower.

4. It provides only an overview of perinatal mortality rates instead of an analysis that would allow us to compare C-section rates and mortality rates across states or countries. Infant mortality rates are not a substitute for perinatal mortality rates.

Those 4 very serious deficiencies make the results misleading and relatively useless. You cannot use the data to claim that the C-section rate is too high or that outcomes would be better if the C-section rate were lower. In fact, you can't claim much of anything based on this data.

It does show, however, that physician compensation has nothing to do with C-section rates.

The Childbirth Connection is a lobbying organization that exists to promote NCB. It's hardly surprising that they manipulate the data to get their preferred outcome. It is extremely unfortunately, though, that they put their own financial well being ahead of providing accurate information for women.

April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Tuteur, MD


You can always contact them to let them know what you would like to see added. This is a data visualization... a visual representation of data that are out there from neutral sources. If you think they need to contextualize the available data with an analysis or study, give'em a ring. Maybe you are just the person to do the research.

April 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterJill

Liz, that sounds like something you could suggest that they add. From what I got from the presentation, they intend to build this out.

April 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterJill

The state comparisons are really fascinating ... I could spend all day clicking around there!

April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohanna

"from neutral sources"

The sources of the data are neutral, but the choice of which data to include and which data to leave out is not neutral at all. I just want people to understand that the data is presented in a misleading way to support a pre-determined conclusion.

April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Tuteur, MD

Technically, the people you should share your feedback with are the creators of the Mapping Health project. http://www.mappinghealth.com/about

Ian Bennett, MD, PhD.: http://www.publichealth.med.upenn.edu/IanMooreBennett.shtml

I'm sure he'd love to hear all about how he has no academic integrity and is a part of a big "NCB" conspiracy to defraud the public.

April 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterJill

Johanna, I find the variation from state to state fascinating, too.

April 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterJill

Thanks for the suggestion, Jill. I emailed Dr Bennett, with the revised total of 14 birth centers! So glad I live in Washington State.

April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Chalmers

Wow, I had no idea Pennsy was so good with the medicaid coverage.

April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFoxyKate
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.