• Successful IT Initiative to Reduce the Rate of Excessive Uterine Contractions During Labor

      Bunting, Kari; Smith, Samuel, 1955-; Hamilton, Emily F. (2014)
      The Problem: Oxytocin, an effective drug to increase the rate and strength of uterine contractions, is used in more than half of all labors. Intravenous infusions are adjusted frequently at the bedside because the uterine response can vary greatly. Clinical protocols recommend discontinuing oxytocin in the presence of overly frequent contractions because they can decrease oxygen delivery to the fetus and result in brain injury. Despite well-established guidelines, incautious use of oxytocin is reported in 45-71% of births with severe asphyxia and subsequent litigation. IT Innovation: In 2011 Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center introduced specialized obstetrical software (PeriCALM Patterns V2.01 PeriGen, Cranbury, NJ) with electronic fetal monitor (EFM) pattern recognition and display features specifically designed to assist in the prompt recognition of uterine tachysystole. Uterine tachysystole (UT) is defined as the presence of more than 5 contractions per 10 minutes, averaged over a 30-minute period. Study Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the rates of UT in the periods "Before" and "After" the introduction of this software in women with induction or augmentation of labor...