Organizations Call for Enhanced Collaboration in Labor, Delivery Practices

Patient-centered Care, Safety Are Priorities, Groups Say

November 30, 2011 04:50 pm News Staff

The AAFP, in collaboration with several other health care professional organizations, is calling for health care providers and administrators to better collaborate in efforts to curb infant mortality rates and improve labor and delivery outcomes in the United States.

[Stock Photo-Doctor handing newborn to mother]

The Academy, together with the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American College of Nurse-Midwives; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, issued a "call to action" on Nov. 30. In a joint news release, the groups said the move was made necessary by "the need to develop an interdisciplinary collaborative approach to patient care to optimize maternal and fetal health outcomes."

In their statement, "Quality Patient Care in Labor and Delivery: A Call to Action(," the groups delivered the following list of joint recommendations:

  • Ensure that patient-centered care and patient safety are organizational priorities that guide decisions for policies and practices.
  • Foster a culture of openness by promoting the active communication of good outcomes and opportunities for improvement. Develop forums to facilitate communication and track issues of concern.
  • Provide resources for clinicians to be trained in the principles of teamwork, safety and shared decision-making.
  • Develop methods to systematically track and evaluate care processes and outcomes.
  • Facilitate cross-departmental sharing of resources and expertise.
  • Ensure that quality obstetric care is a priority that guides individual and team decisions.
  • Identify and communicate safety concerns, and work together to mitigate potential safety risks.
  • Disseminate and use the best available evidence, including individual and hospital-level data, to guide practice patterns.

"As representatives of professional societies whose members care for pregnant and laboring women, we agree that patient-centered and safe care of the mother and child enhances quality and is our top priority," said the groups. "Optimal maternal health outcomes can best be achieved in an atmosphere of effective communication, shared decision-making, teamwork and data-driven quality improvement initiatives."