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Committee Opinion Number 748, August 2018

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 639, September 2015)

ABSTRACT: Information from vital records is critical to identify and quantify health-related issues and to measure progress toward quality improvement and public health goals. In particular, maternal and infant mortality serve as important indicators of the nation’s health, thereby influencing policy development, funding of programs and research, and measures of health care quality. Accurate and timely documentation of births and deaths is essential to high-quality vital statistics. This Committee Opinion describes the process by which births, maternal deaths, and fetal deaths are registered;...


2.
March 2018

Committee Opinion Number 731, March 2018

ABSTRACT: Individual prenatal care is intended to prevent poor perinatal outcomes and provide education to women throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period through a series of one-on-one encounters between a woman and her obstetrician or other obstetric care provider. Concerns regarding increasing health care costs, health care provider availability, dissatisfaction with wait times, and the minimal opportunity for education and support associated with the individual care model have given rise to interest in alternative models of prenatal care. One alternative model, group pre...


3.
February 2018

Committee Opinion Number 730, February 2018

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 519, March 2012)

Abstract: Fatigue and sleep deprivation may affect a health care provider’s skills and communication style, and also may affect clinical outcomes. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7–9 hours of sleep per night for an adult. However, there are no current guidelines limiting the volume of deliveries and procedures performed by a single individual or on the length of time he or she may be on call. Medical literature has shown that even a single night of missed sleep measurably affects cognitive performance. When adults do not sleep at least 5 hours per night, language and numeric skills...


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Committee Opinion Number 726, December 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 555, March 2013)

ABSTRACT: Large-scale catastrophic events and infectious disease outbreaks highlight the need for disaster planning at all community levels. Features unique to the obstetric population (including antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum and neonatal care) warrant special consideration in the event of a disaster. Pregnancy increases the risks of untoward outcomes from various infectious diseases. Trauma during pregnancy presents anatomic and physiologic considerations that often can require increased use of resources such as higher rates of cesarean delivery. Recent evidence suggests that floods an...


Committee Opinion Number 723, October 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 656, February 2016)

ABSTRACT: Imaging studies are important adjuncts in the diagnostic evaluation of acute and chronic conditions. However, confusion about the safety of these modalities for pregnant and lactating women and their infants often results in unnecessary avoidance of useful diagnostic tests or the unnecessary interruption of breastfeeding. Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging are not associated with risk and are the imaging techniques of choice for the pregnant patient, but they should be used prudently and only when use is expected to answer a relevant clinical question or otherwise provid...


Committee Opinion Number 683, January 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 508, October 2011) (Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: A key element of an organizational safety culture is maintaining an environment of professionalism that encourages communication and promotes high-quality care. Behavior that undermines a culture of safety, including disruptive or intimidating behavior, has a negative effect on the quality and safety of patient care. Intimidating behavior and disruptive behavior are unprofessional and should not be tolerated. Confronting disruptive individuals is difficult. Co-workers often are reluctant to report disruptive behavior because of fear of retaliation and the stigma associated with “bl...


Committee Opinion Number 681, December 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 520, March 2012) (Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Adverse outcomes, preventable or otherwise, are a reality of medical care. Most importantly, adverse events affect patients, but they also affect health care practitioners. Disclosing information about adverse events has benefits for the patient and the physician and, ideally, strengthens the patient–physician relationship and promotes trust. Studies show that after an adverse outcome, patients expect and want timely and full disclosure of the event, an acknowledgment of responsibility, an understanding of what happened, expressions of sympathy, and a discussion of what is being don...


Committee Opinion Number 680, November 2016

(Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Checklists are used in medical and nonmedical settings as cognitive aids to ensure that users complete all the items associated with a particular task. They are ideal for tasks with many steps, for tasks performed under stressful circumstances, or for reminding people to perform tasks that they are not routinely accustomed to doing. In medicine, they are ideal for promoting standardized processes of care in situations in which variation in practice may increase patient risk and the chance of medical errors. Checklists also can be used to enhance teamwork and communication. It is a g...


Committee Opinion Number 676, October 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 585, February 2014) (Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions. Multiple factors affect a patient’s understanding of health information, including cultural factors, a physician’s health knowledge and communication skills, the demands of the situation, the environment in which the health information is being conveyed, and time constraints. The responsibility for recognizing and addressing the problem of limited health literacy lies with all enti...


Committee Opinion Number 674, September 2016

ABSTRACT: New or emerging surgical procedures and technologies continue to be developed at a rapid rate and must be implemented safely into clinical practice. Additional privileging may be required if substantively new technical or cognitive skills are required to implement an innovative procedure or technology. Guiding principles for privileging should include cognitive and technical assessment to ensure appropriate patient selection and performance of the new procedure. Implementation also should include pertinent institutional and staff support as needed. A dynamic process for assessment a...


Number 5, September 2016

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: This document builds upon recommendations from peer organizations and outlines a process for identifying maternal cases that should be reviewed. Severe maternal morbidity is associated with a high rate of preventability, similar to that of maternal mortality. It also can be considered a near miss for maternal mortality because without identification and treatment, in some cases, these conditions would lead to maternal death. Identifying severe morbidity is, therefore, important for preventing such injuries that lead to mortality and for highlighting opportunities to avoid repeat inj...


Committee Opinion Number 657, February 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 459, July 2010) (Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: The term “hospitalist” refers to physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Their activities may include patient care, teaching, research, and inpatient leadership. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports the continued development and study of the obstetric and gynecologic (ob-gyn) hospitalist model as one potential approach to improve patient safety and professional satisfaction across delivery settings. Effective patient handoffs, updates on progress, and clear follow-up instructions between ob-gyn hos...


Committee Opinion Number 629, April 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion 526, May 2012) (Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Protocols and checklists have been shown to reduce patient harm through improved standardization and communication. Implementation of protocols and guidelines often is delayed because of lack of health care provider awareness or difficult clinical algorithms in medical institutions. However, the use of checklists and protocols clearly has been demonstrated to improve outcomes and their use is strongly encouraged. Checklists and protocols should be incorporated into systems as a way to help practitioners provide the best evidence-based care to their patients.


15.
February 2015

Number 2, February 2015

Reaffirmed 2016

Abstract: In the 1970s, studies demonstrated that timely access to risk-appropriate neonatal and obstetric care could reduce perinatal mortality. Since the publication of the Toward Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy report, more than three decades ago, the conceptual framework of regionalization of care of the woman and the newborn has been gradually separated with recent focus almost entirely on the newborn. In this current document, maternal care refers to all aspects of antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum care of the pregnant woman. The proposed classification system for levels of mat...


Committee Opinion Number 622, February 2015

(Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Digital and social media quickly are becoming universal in modern medical practice. Data sharing, online reviews and ratings, and digital privacy concerns likely will become a part of most every physician’s practice, regardless of his or her use of social media. The widespread use of social media in the United States brings unprecedented connectivity that opens new horizons for physicians, ranging from interactions with patients, to communication with peers and the public, to novel approaches to research.


Committee Opinion Number 621, January 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 472, November 2010)

ABSTRACT: The advantages of health information technology (IT) include facilitating communication between health care providers; improving medication safety, tracking, and reporting; and promoting quality of care through optimized access to and adherence to guidelines. Health IT systems permit the collection of data for use for quality management, outcome reporting, and public health disease surveillance and reporting. However, improvement is needed with all health IT, especially regarding design, implementation, and integration between platforms within the work environment. Robust interopera...


18.
November 2014

Statement of Policy (Revised and approved November 2014), November 2014

The following statement is the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) general policy related to abortion. The College’s clinical guidelines related to abortion and additional information are contained in the relevant Practice Bulletins, Committee Opinions, and other College documents.


(Reaffirmed July 2014)

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the College) and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) affirm our shared goal of safe women's health care in the United States through the promotion of evidence-based models provided by obstetrician–gynecologists (ob-gyns), certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), and certified midwives (CMs). The College and ACNM believe health care is most effective when it occurs in a system that facilitates communication across care settings and among providers. Ob-gyns and CNMs/CMs are experts in their respective fields of practice and are educated...


Committee Opinion Number 590, March 2014

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 487, April 2011) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Patient care emergencies may occur at any time in any setting, particularly the inpatient setting. It is important that obstetrician–gynecologists prepare themselves by assessing potential emergencies, establishing early warning systems, designating specialized first responders, conducting emergency drills, and debriefing staff after actual events to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. Having such systems in place may reduce or prevent the severity of medical emergencies.


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