Purpose for the Program
A review of our process was conducted and demonstrated the need to design an incoming obstetric patient report to be utilized between labor and delivery and emergency medical services. It is imperative that a collaborative relationship be established in the community between the departments due to the increasing acuity of maternal patients. There is a direct link in poor maternal and fetal outcomes as a result in delay of care due to inadequate preparation of incoming obstetric patients received from emergency medical services.
The Incoming Obstetric Patient Report was implemented to improve patient safety and maternal and neonatal outcomes. The emergency medical services Quick Tips for Obstetric Patients also was developed to be utilized as a reference when caring for obstetric patients. The implementation of these two processes addresses the Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert #44 to decrease maternal morbidity and mortality.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
The Incoming Obstetric Patient Report and the emergency medical services Quick Tips for Obstetric Patients were developed and implemented by visiting local emergency medical services departments to provide consistent education. The emergency department also was provided with the same education to ensure that all three departments had a common understanding and appreciation for obstetric patients. By establishing an interdisciplinary approach between the departments, patient outcomes have improved. The emergency medical services response units have used these tools to perform a quick assessment of obstetric patients and relay the appropriate information to the dispatcher. With the use of both of these tools, patients have been successfully transferred to the appropriate departments and optimal patient outcomes have been achieved. Using a survey to evaluate the effectiveness before and after the education shows a vast increase in the level of comfort when caring for obstetric patients.
Implications for Nursing Practice
Implementation of the Incoming Obstetric Patient Report and emergency medical services Quick Tips for Obstetric Patients provides a consistent process for communication and assessing obstetric patients outside a hospital setting. It has been noted through evidence-based practice that up to 80% of adverse patient outcomes are related to poor communication. By providing education and communication tools, maternal and neonatal outcomes have improved.