Objectives: To describe perinatal linkage among hospitals, changes in their numbers and their impact on relationships amonf high-risk providers in local communities. Study Design: Data were obtained about the organization of perinatal services in 1996-1999 from a cross-sectional study evaluating fetal and infant mortality review (FIMR) programs nationwide. Geographic areas were sampled based on region, population density, and the presence of FIMR. A local health department representative was interviewed in 76% (N=193) of eligible communities; 188 provided data about hospitals. Results: Linkages among all hospitals were reported in 143 communities and with a subspecialty hospital in 122. All but 12 communities had a maternity hospital, and changes in the number of hospitals occured in 49 communities. Decreases in the number of Level II hospitals were related to changes in relationships among providers of high-risk care for mothers and newborns; they were associated with changing relationships only for mothers in Level I hospitals. These relations were noted only where established provider relationships existed. Conclusion: Decreases in the number of maternity hospitals affect provider relationships in communities but only where there are established linkage among hospitals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology