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Perinatal safety initiative reduces adverse obstetrical outcomes
Date:3/7/2011

MANHASSET, NY --Having a child is a life event that is equal parts magic and fear. Will the baby be healthy? Will labor and delivery pose challenges? Are there ways to reduce the risk for adverse events? Hospital obstetrical units face these questions round-the-clock.

To increase the chances of a safe labor and delivery, and make way for a memorable birthing experience, the North Shore-LIJ Health System has launched a new prenatal quality initiative, led by Adiel Fleischer, MD, of obstetrics and gynecology at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center, and Brian Wagner, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.

They designed and implemented a two-year comprehensive training program for all staff in the obstetrics wings at North Shore University Hospital and LIJ Medical Center. Staff was required to complete the formalized training that included evidence-based protocols to reduce adverse events.

These protocols included competency in reading electronic fetal heart rate monitors, communication skills and problem solving on a wide range of high-risk obstetrical emergencies through simulation programs. The hope was that the obstetrics initiative would lead to fewer adverse outcomes for mother and child.

It worked.

A team of scientists in the Division of Health Services Research in the health system's Department of Population Health analyzed almost a dozen adverse outcome measures and found that such problems, including returning to the operating room and birth trauma, were significantly reduced by more than half from two percent to 0.8 percent. Data also showed better outcomes were maintained over the two-year study period.

The analysis was published in the March issue of the Journal for Healthcare Quality .

In addition to improved outcomes, staff perceptions of safety improved significantly, as did perceptions among new mothers, who reported that their obstetri
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Contact: Jamie Talan
jtalan@nshs.edu
516-562-1232
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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