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New tool to compare rates of severe pregnancy complications across U.S. hospitals

The obstetric comorbidity scoring system was developed by NIH-funded researchers for classifying severe maternal morbidity.

The system uses patient discharge data to analyze and compare rates of maternal morbidity between different U.S. hospitals and different groups of patients. The study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, was led by Stephanie A. Leonard, PhD, of the Stanford University School of Medicine.1

Researchers studying maternal morbidity lack reliable ways to do so. The obstetric comorbidity scoring system, according to the study authors, offers an advantage over current approaches. As opposed to electronic medical records, the new scoring system relies on patient discharge records that are more readily available.2

Developed by researchers from the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, the scoring system aids in predicting severe maternal morbidity (SMM) and non-transfusion SMM; non-transfusion SMM includes SMM cases in which blood transfusion was not the sole indicator of a severe complication.3



  1. Leonard, Stephanie A. PhD; Kennedy, Chris J. MA; Carmichael, Suzan L. PhD; Lyell, Deirdre J. MD; et al. An Expanded Obstetric Comorbidity Scoring System for Predicting Severe Maternal Morbidity, Obstetrics & Gynecology: August 06, 2020 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004022
  2. Severe Maternal Morbidity: Validated Approach for Comorbidity Risk Adjustment. California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. Accessed August 24, 2020. https://www.cmqcc.org/research/severe-maternal-morbidity-validated-approach-comorbidity-risk-adjustment
  3. Obstetric Comorbidity Scoring System. California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. Accessed August 24, 2020. https://www.cmqcc.org/research/severe-maternal-morbidity/obstetric-comorbidity-scoring-system