Development of an Obstetric Vital Sign Alert to Improve Outcomes in Acute Care Obstetrics

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Maternal morbidity and mortality is a national health problem. Causal analysis of near-miss and actual serious patient safety events, including those resulting in maternal death, within obstetric units often highlights a failure to promptly recognize and treat women who were exhibiting signs of decompensation/deterioration. The Obstetric Vital Sign Alert (OBVSA) is an early warning tool that leverages discrete data points in the electronic health record, calculating a risk score that is displayed as a visual cue for acute care obstetric staff. When studied in a cohort of women with postpartum hemorrhage, use of the OBVSA reduced symptom-to-response time and intervention time, as well as key process and outcome measures.

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