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St. Petersburg, Florida

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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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How To Reduce Errors In Obstetrics And Gynecology

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The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, would seem an unlikely place to produce an author who says medical errors and unsafe systems of care has had a profound effect on the practice of obstetrics and gynecology. But, there it is, an article summarized at the National Library of Medicine.

Patient safety in obstetrics and gynecology: an agenda for the future

(Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Nov;108(5):1266-71)

The effect of medical errors and unsafe systems of care has had a profound effect on the practice of obstetrics and gynecology.

This article discusses other medical specialty society efforts that have been successful in addressing the area of patient safety. Efforts to better track quality outcomes has been initiated by the American College of Surgeons through the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists has demonstrated both dramatically improved outcomes and reduced liability costs through a concerted patient safety effort.

The author proposes changes in four areas to specifically address patient safety in obstetrics and gynecology, including: the development of reliable and reproducible quality control measures (and a system to track them); national closed claim reviews to better understand and address the most important safety and liability areas for obstetrician-gynecologists; work prospectively with pharmaceutical and surgical device manufacturers to develop innovative new products that would increase the likelihood of safe outcomes; and create a culture of safety in obstetrics and gynecology by incorporating safety education into all levels of training.

I would be impressed if the same analysis and recommendations came from a prominent university in Florida where there remain far too many needless injuries to newborns and mothers.