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Keywords:

  • labor;
  • fetal monitoring;
  • risk management;
  • education;
  • communication barriers

Intrapartum electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) interpretation and management continue to be a common issue in litigation involving adverse outcomes in term pregnancies. This article uses a case study approach to illustrate system errors related to intrapartum EFM. Common system errors related to use of intrapartum EFM include knowledge deficits, communication failures, and fear of conflict. Strategies for reducing error and the promotion of a patient safety approach to risk management in EFM are discussed, with an emphasis on the importance of a true team approach to EFM education, interpretation, and management.