The Perinatal Birth Environment: Communication Strategies and Processes for Adherence to a Standardized Guideline in Women Undergoing Second-Stage Labor With Epidural Anesthesia

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Key to any perinatal safety initiative is buy-in and strong leadership from obstetric and pediatric providers, advanced practice nurses, and labor and delivery nurses in collaboration with ancillary staff. In the fall of 2007, executives of a large Midwestern hospital system created the Zero Birth Injury Initiative. This multidisciplinary group sought to eliminate birth injury using the Institute of Healthcare Improvement Perinatal Bundles. Concurrently, the team implemented a standardized second-stage labor guideline for women who choose epidural analgesia for pain management to continue the work of eliminating birth injuries in second-stage labor. The purpose of this article was to describe the process of the modification and adaptation of a standardized second-stage labor guideline, as well as adherence rates of these guidelines into clinical practice. Prior to implementation, a Web-based needs assessment survey of providers was conducted. Most (77% of 180 respondents) believed there was a need for an evidence-based guideline to manage the second stage of labor. The guideline was implemented at 5 community hospitals and 1 academic health center. Data were prospectively collected during a 3-month period for adherence assessment at 1 community hospital and 1 academic health center. Providers adhered to the guideline in about 57% of births. Of patients whose provider followed the guideline, 75% of women were encouraged to delay pushing compared with only 28% of patients delayed pushing when the provider did not follow the guideline.

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