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Perinatal Outcomes at Rural Hospitals That Participated in the RSON initiative (2016–2021)

Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada


Authors: Kathrin Stoll, PhD, Tessa A. Bendyshe-Walton, MSc BSc, Gal Av-Gay, MSc, Anshu Parajulee, MSc, Nancy Humber, MD, Kim Williams, RN, MSc, Tom Skinner, Jude Kornelsen, PhD
Publication Date: November 2023


The goal of Rural Surgical and Obstetrical Networks (RSON) is to support safe and appropriate surgery, operative birth, and perinatal care closer to home for rural communities. Family physicians with enhanced obstetrical and/or surgical skills provide caesarean sections and family practice anesthetists (FPA) manage anesthesia for labour pain and operative births at RSON supported hospitals, with involvement of a local specialist at one site. This paper compares perinatal outcomes at hospitals participating in the RSON initiative with outcomes at referral hospitals and examines temporal changes in the proportion of childbearing people who resided in RSON communities and gave birth locally. The results found that childbearing people who gave birth at RSON supported hospitals had a 10% lower incidence of adverse maternal newborn outcomes compared to those who gave birth at referral hospitals, after controlling for referral bias. A small increase (3.2 %) was found in the proportion of local births over the study period.

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