Practice Management |

ACOG Revitalizes Patient Safety Program

Washington, DC—As part of an ongoing effort to improve patient safety, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has revitalized the Safety Certification in Outpatient Practice Excellence (SCOPE) for Women's Health program. SCOPE is a voluntary, comprehensive patient safety review program for medical offices that provide obstetric and/or gynecologic services. The goals of SCOPE are to assist ob-gyns and other women's health care providers in assessing the implementation and use of patient safety concepts and techniques in their offices and to recognize those offices with strong patient safety practices. Additionally, SCOPE may identify office processes that require improvement, and ACOG will act as a resource to provide assistance and education to make changes and enhance patient safety.


SCOPE offers many potential benefits to women's health care providers and their patients:

  • Enhance patient safety outcomes
  • Improve office teamwork, efficiency and effectiveness
  • Reduce liability risk
  • Better position offices for changes in payment systems

In an effort to make the program more accessible to women's health care providers, ACOG has streamlined the SCOPE application process with a new website and reduced fees. Also, ob-gyns who participate in SCOPE and achieve SCOPE certification for their offices are now eligible to receive ABOG 'Improvement in Medical Practice' (Part IV) Maintenance of Certification credits.

ACOG President, Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, is preparing to lead his office in Waterbury, CT through the SCOPE certification process. He stated, "The SCOPE program's model policies and procedures will help practices to function more efficiently and effectively as they work to enhance patient safety. Most practices, I'm sure, do provide safe, high quality care. The SCOPE certification process will help to not only improve that care but also will recognize the practice for its success in this area."

To participate in SCOPE, an office must complete an application. The process is completely confidential and if an office meets criteria, a remote or on-site office review is scheduled. Offices that meet SCOPE criteria will be granted certification that is valid for three years. The names of offices that achieve SCOPE certification will be published in Obstetrics & Gynecology and on the SCOPE website.

To learn more about SCOPE certification visit

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization.