Safety Certification in Outpatient Practice Excellence for Women's Health Program (SCOPE for Women's Health Program)


safety certification in outpatient practice excellence for women's health



Advances in surgical techniques, technology, and anesthetics have made all kinds of procedures, formerly restricted to inpatient facilities, now possible in the office setting. Therefore, the office setting creates a unique set of challenges for health care providers, including less legal and regulatory oversight and more fragmented patient care.

The Safety Certification in Outpatient Practice Excellence for Women's Health Program (SCOPE for Women's Health) is an opportunity for ACOG and its Fellows to take a leadership role in defining quality and safety indicators for women’s health care in the office setting.

Key goals of the SCOPE Program include:

  • Promote the highest quality of women's health care
  • Provide a trusted solution to meet the external demand for quality and safety activities
  • Reduce redundant review programs for physicians and offices

To learn more about the SCOPE program, please visit or sign up for the listserv by visiting:

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (“ACOG”) is committed to helping improve patient safety in all settings in which women’s health care is provided. Patient safety is essential to providing optimal health care for women. Knowledge and implementation of patient safety measures can reduce medical errors and leads to positive patient outcomes.

In 2010, Quality and Safety in Women’s Health Care, Second Edition was published, joining a long line of publications and programs developed by ACOG to inform and assist obstetricians and gynecologists in managing quality improvement programs for inpatient and outpatient settings. This primer also includes the report of the 2008-2009 Presidential Task Force on Patient Safety in the Office Setting appointed by then President, Dr. Douglas H. Kirkpatrick, which provides proposals for creating a culture of patient safety within the office practice. 

ACOG has taken the next step in addressing patient safety by creating the Safety Certification in Outpatient Practice Excellence (“SCOPE”) for Women’s Health Program. SCOPE is a voluntary comprehensive patient safety review program available to medical practices in which obstetrics and/or gynecology services are provided. SCOPE assesses the implementation and use of patient safety concepts and techniques in an individual office setting. 

SCOPE review is a multi-step process. To start, an office will complete a detailed questionnaire and provide documentation to support its responses to the questions (“the Application”), sign a SCOPE Participation Agreement and pay the program fee. The Application collects information about the office and its use of patient safety concepts and techniques. Applications will be reviewed and if an office meets certain criteria, a site visit will follow. After a site visit, an office will receive a report that will include an analysis of the patient safety concepts and techniques used in the office and suggestions for patient safety improvements. When the criteria for SCOPE certification are met, a three-year SCOPE Certification will be granted. 

SCOPE focuses solely on processes associated with enhancing the safety environment and reducing risk for patients in the office setting. SCOPE does not evaluate the quality of clinical care provided by an ob-gyn office.

Who Can Apply?

Any medical practice in which obstetrics and/or gynecology services are provided can submit an Application for SCOPE review.  

Offices Are Reviewed Individually

Individual offices, even within the same practice or system, have unique cultures and may provide different services. Therefore, each SCOPE review focuses on a single office location. For a practice or system with multiple offices, each office must complete an Application (the questionnaire with supporting documentation), sign a SCOPE Participation Agreement and pay the program fee. Each office would be eligible for review and certification individually.  

Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff Are Included in a Review

Clinical and non-clinical staff, both full-time and part-time, are included in a SCOPE review. Clinical staff include physicians (MD or DO), nurses, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, physician assistants, certified registered nurse anesthetists, nutritionists, LPNs and other providers. Non-clinical staff do not provide health care to patients and include office managers, receptionists, schedulers, billers and coders, janitors and other office personnel.

Please contact or call 1-800-266-8043 for more information.


Debjani Mukherjee, MPH

Katie Cain, MPH
Administrator, VRQC Program 

Andrea Jones
Administrator, SCOPE Program