Frequently Asked Questions

The MDC is operated by the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, a program under Stanford University School of Medicine’s Division of Neonatology. Policy guidance is provided by the multi-stakeholder Maternal Data Center Steering Committee, which includes representation from the clinical community (including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), hospitals, payers, relevant state agencies, and public interest groups.

The MDC substantially minimizes hospital data collection burden:

  • Participating hospitals submit already existing patient discharge data to the MDC on a monthly or quarterly basis (per the hospital's preference). The data is based on the same specifications as a hospital’s OSHPD patient discharge data, but is uploaded directly to the MDC secure online tool on a more frequent basis.
  • CMQCC receives birth certificate data, which includes key clinical data elements, directly from the California Department of Public Health. 
  • The MDC instantaneously links the patient discharge and birth certificate data to automatically generate dozens of perinatal metrics with no additional data collection. For several optional measures, the MDC tool identifies the small subset of cases that require additional chart review in user-friendly worksheets. (If the hospital already has these data available electronically, they may also be submitted in an optional supplemental data file.)

Yes. A Participation and Business Associate Agreement defines the legal, security and confidentiality requirements to be implemented by CMQCC and the hospital. The project has also received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS), the state of California’s IRB.

All data submissions, linkage and reporting takes place via the MDC’s secure web-based tool, housed in dedicated server environments maintained by Stanford University’s School of Medicine, Information, Resources and Technology (Med-IRT) Group. Using state-of-the-art encryption technology, patient-level data is fully secured and visible only to authorized staff from the hospital of submission.   

Access to the MDC online tool is limited to hospitals and a select set of QI professionals who support them. However, CMQCC partners with other stakeholder groups—leveraging data provided by state agencies and the MDC’s analytic capabilities—to:

  • Track progress in statewide quality improvement initiatives
  • Publicly report nationally-endorsed quality metrics
  • Implement value-based purchasing initiatives
  • Perform public health research
  • Inform maternal and child health policies  

This is one of the easiest to use, comprehensive quality improvement tools I have ever seen.
—David Lagrew MD, Executive Director Women’s Services, St. Joseph HOAG Health

I absolutely love the richness of this data that we can take to our medical staff and administrative teams to see how well we are doing and where we need to focus on our quality improvement.
—Kristi Gabel, Perinatal CNS, Sutter Roseville Medical Center

The MDC has helped us improve our 39 week elective deliveries. We went from 22% to 5% by getting accurate data and this team helped us to keep focused. The MDC team is excellent. They are quick to answer your questions is a way you can understand. They have a positive, knowledgeable and action oriented team. I am so happy to be part of this.
—Debbie Groth, Director, Maternal and Child Health, El Camino Hospital, Mountain View

We are loving the MDC! It has truly expanded our quality reporting and ongoing analysis. 
—Cynthia Fahey, MSN, RN, Clinical Quality Coordinator, Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura

Over time, under the supervision of the MDC Steering Committee, CMQCC may also produce a select set of performance measures to inform patient decisions. Just as providers benefit from comparative data on practices and outcomes to enhance clinical decisions, childbearing women desire information relevant to making their personal health decisions. Ultimately, the sponsors envision that a select set of performance measures will be publicly reported, much as the CMS Hospital Compare site reports hospital-level data on care for pneumonia, diabetes and cardiac conditions. 

For measures not already being publicly reported in California, reporting would occur only after the following:

  • A six-month quality improvement cycle subsequent to baseline data collection by new participants;
  • A thorough review of the validity of the measures proposed for public release by the MDC's Data and Measures Subcommittee (composed of clinicians, researchers and state agencies); 
  • Final approval for measure release by the multi-stakeholder MDC Steering Committee.

Hospitals also have the option to authorize CMQCC to release select measures to third-party organizations, including the Regional Perinatal Programs of California (RPPC) and the CMS Inpatient Quality Reporting Program.  Release of such metrics takes place solely with the explicit permission of the hospital.

CMQCC may also aggregate hospital-submitted data into larger data sets -- for use in research into the associations between obstetric practices and maternal and newborn outcomes. Any research-related use would strictly conform to the provisions of the CMQCC-hospital legal agreements.

For Labor and Delivery units in California, please see our Hospital Membership Fees page for more information on joining CMQCC.