Labor and delivery safety is the focus of a blueprint for labor and delivery safety, developed by four professional organizations in maternal health. The blueprint — developed by the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses — calls for improving communication among healthcare professionals and organizations and patients to ensure fewer risks and better outcomes for mothers and babies, according to a news release. Additionally, these organizations partnered with VitalSmarts, a research and training organization.
“Transforming Communication and Safety Culture in Intrapartum Care: A Multi-organization Blueprint,” appeared in the April 7 edition of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing and also will appear in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health and Obstetrics & Gynecology (The Green Journal).
The blueprint outlines ways in which individual clinicians, team leaders, administrators, healthcare providers, organizations and associations, and even patients can use enhanced communication to improve outcomes in labor and delivery and that the inability of a clinical team to speak up or effectively communicate can have a devastating impact, according to the release.
“It takes an expert team and mutual accountability to provide excellent care to women and families,” the blueprint states. “Differences of opinion about clinical assessments, goals of care, and the pathway to optimal outcomes are bound to occur with some regularity in the dynamic environment of labor and delivery. Every person has the responsibility to contribute to improving how we relate to and communicate with each other. Collectively we must create environments in which every team member (patient, physician, midwife, nurse, unit clerk, patient care assistant, scrub tech, etc.) is comfortable expressing and discussing their concerns about safety and performance, and is encouraged to do so, and has the support of the team to articulate their rationale for and urgency of their concern without fear of put-downs, retribution, or receiving poor quality care.”
The four organizations plan to continue their collaboration to create tools and training protocol to ensure communication and teamwork.
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