Clinical Practice: Combat Opioid Use During Pregnancy with New Patient Safety Bundle

The unfortunate escalation of opioid use in the United States in recent years has not excluded the pregnant population. Opioid use disorder (OUD) and other substance use disorders are seen across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. OUD in pregnant women is associated with neonatal abstinence syndrome and linked with a significant increase in maternal mortality and severe morbidity.

A number of initiatives and programs have been launched or expanded to combat this growing epidemic across disciplines, including the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) and the Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care (the Council), a multi-stakeholder leadership group representing 18 professional societies. The AIM initiative has been funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau/Health Resource Services Administration.

New! Obstetric Care for Women with Opioid Use Disorder

After collaboratively releasing seven patient safety bundles on a variety of maternal health issues, AIM and the Council have released a new patient safety bundle on Obstetric Care for Women with Opioid Use Disorder. The bundle was developed by a multidisciplinary work group, including representatives of physicians, child welfare, substance abuse treatment, nursing, maternal and child health programs, patients, and other invested disciplines, and vetted by the Council, which includes patients and groups dedicated to improving patient safety in women’s health care through multidisciplinary collaboration that drives culture change.  

Obstetric Care for Women with Opioid Use Disorder provides a broad framework for incorporating OUD screening, intervention, treatment, and follow-up into maternity care practice across health care settings. Multidisciplinary collaboration is essential for providing the best possible care to women with OUD. Modeled after other bundles released by the Council, the bundle is organized into four domains:

  • Readiness
  • Recognition
  • Response
  • Reporting and Systems Learning

Although the bundle components may be adapted to meet the resources available in individual facilities, standardization within an institution is strongly encouraged. The bundle is also accompanied by a robust list of resources to help institutions customize the bundle to meet their needs.

Tune into the Safety Action Series

A telepresentation of the Obstetric Care for Women with Opioid Use Disorder patient safety bundle will take place on September 6, 1:30-2:30 pm EDT. The presentation will be led by the chair and co-chair of the development work group, Mishka Terplan, MD, MPH, and Elizabeth Kranz, MD, as part of the Safety Action Series, a free educational tele-conference series facilitated by the Council. Register for this event now.

To learn more about AIM, patient safety bundles, and the Safety Action Series session, please visit Sign up for email updates here.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998