Implementation of an Oxytocin Checklist to Improve Clinical Outcomes

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Abstract

Background:

Oxytocin is one of the most common drugs administered in obstetrics. Since its designation as a high-alert medication by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in 2007, there has been much attention to oxytocin administration during labor. Oxytocin is generally safe when administered correctly, but adverse perinatal outcomes can occur during uterine tachysystole.

Purpose:

The purpose of this project was to evaluate and compare results of maternal and fetal outcomes of induction of labor for women at term prior to and after implementation of a newly developed oxytocin checklist.

Project Design and Methods:

To evaluate the practice change associated with the implementation of the new oxytocin checklist, 200 cases based on retrospective medical record reviews were compared with 200 cases after implementation.

Results:

Use of the checklist was associated with several significant clinical outcomes, including decreases in tachysystole, decreases in cesarean births for concern about fetal status based on electronic fetal monitoring data, decreases in length of first stage labor, and decreases in maximum dose of oxytocin.

Clinical Implications:

Results are similar to previous research. Early physician buy-in, clinical team education, and ongoing evaluation enhanced facilitation of the oxytocin checklist. Clinical outcomes were favorable.

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