Electronic fetal heart monitoring has been in use for 40 years. Yet, until recently there has been no agreement on standard definitions and nomenclature for interpreting fetal heart rate patterns.
“By reinforcing NICHD standardized definitions endorsed by AWHONN, ACOG and ACNM this program gives clinicians the tools they need to increase their knowledge to visually interpret fetal heart rate patterns,” said Michael Reed, manager of GE Healthcare’s Global Education for Clinical Systems Service. This interdisciplinary education provides a clear path to better communication and increased patient safety."
“This program has managed to integrate the underlying physiology of fetal heart rate interpretation with appropriate use of the NICHD nomenclature, making it an excellent tool for education as well as review. As an electronic fetal monitoring educator, I am always looking for innovative methods to reinforce training in fetal monitoring, and this interactive model is perfect,” said Lisa A. Miller, CNM, JD, President, Perinatal Risk Management and Education Services in Chicago.
As identified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the lack of a common language to describe and interpret electronic fetal heart rate patterns has contributed to inconsistent interpretation and management, which can jeopardize patient safety. JCAHO recommended the use of standardized terminology and protocols to communicate and interpret abnormal fetal heart rate tracings.
Language and terminology is standardized, facilitating communication, thus helping to reduce errors and improve patient safety, which may result in better outcomes. This enables the health care enterprise to meet patient safety standards set by JACHO and other accrediting groups.
The e-learning program can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection, meaning, courses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. GE’s Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring Interpretation and Management Program is a clinical education program and does not endorse or support any medical device manufacturer.
Drs. Miller developed the Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring educational program for clinical professionals. The Millers are practicing obstetricians-gynecologists, as well as maternal fetal medicine sub-specialists. Both did their fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Southern California. The Millers have maintained a strong interest in teaching and research in electronic fetal monitoring.
“In 2005 and 2006, ACOG, AWHONN and ACNM endorsed the standardized definitions of fetal heart rate patterns proposed by the NICHD in 1997,” said Dr. David Miller. “Agreeing to use a common language to describe fetal heart rate tracings paves the way for much needed standardization of fetal heart rate interpretation and management. The ultimate goal is to optimize outcomes and to minimize potential sources of preventable error in intrapartum fetal heart rate monitoring.”
Dr. David Miller speaks frequently on perinatal risk management and standardized terminology. Numerous requests for an educational program from doctors and nurses in hospitals across the country led the Millers to partner with GE to create the e-learning program, making it more accessible and available to hospitals that need this vital information.
For additional information about the program, visit www.gehealthcare.com/fhr .
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