Mr. David G. Maxfield, Ms. Annie Lewis, and Mr. Chase McMillan are employed by and/or own stock in VitalSmarts LC. Although neither VitalSmarts LC nor its products are mentioned in this article, VitalSmarts LC does create training products that are designed to address the types of problems identified in this study.
Contributions of Clinical Disconnections and Unresolved Conflict to Failures in Intrapartum Safety
Article first published online: 19 DEC 2013
© 2013 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 43, Issue 1, pages 2–12, January/February 2014
How to Cite
Lyndon, A., Zlatnik, M. G., Maxfield, D. G., Lewis, A., McMillan, C. and Kennedy, H. P. (2014), Contributions of Clinical Disconnections and Unresolved Conflict to Failures in Intrapartum Safety. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 43: 2–12. doi: 10.1111/1552-6909.12266
- Issue published online: 15 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 19 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 SEP 2013
- National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health. Grant Number: KL2TR000143
- Intrapartum care;
- interprofessional communication;
- patient safety;
To explore clinician perspectives on whether they experience difficulty resolving patient-related concerns or observe problems with the performance or behavior of colleagues involved in intrapartum care.
Qualitative descriptive study of physician, nursing, and midwifery professional association members.
Participants and Setting
Participants (N = 1932) were drawn from the membership lists of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM), and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM).
Email survey with multiple choice and free text responses. Descriptive statistics and inductive thematic analysis were used to characterize the data.
Forty-seven percent of participants reported experiencing situations in which patients were put at risk due to failure of team members to listen or respond to a concern. Thirty-seven percent reported unresolved concerns regarding another clinician's performance. The overarching theme was clinical disconnection, which included disconnections between clinicians about patient needs and plans of care and disconnections between clinicians and administration about the support required to provide safe and appropriate clinical care. Lack of responsiveness to concerns by colleagues and administration contributed to resignation and defeatism among participants who had experienced such situations.
Despite encouraging progress in developing cultures of safety in individual centers and systems, significant work is needed to improve collaboration and reverse historic normalization of both systemic disrespect and overt disruptive behaviors in intrapartum care.