Introduction: Effective communication between obstetric and pediatric providers in the delivery room is crucial to providing safe patient care to women and their newborn infants. The use of checklists can be a simple and effective method to standardize handoff communication between obstetric and pediatric teams during deliveries. Methods: We present the Delivery Room Communication Checklist, a resource that consists of 23 vital communication items that should be exchanged between medical providers, nursing providers, and family members during infant deliveries. The checklist may be implemented in institutions as a educational tool, a visual aid during patient care, and an assessment tool. When used as an educational tool, learners receive a copy of the checklist for review prior to the training sessions, so that they may better utilize their time participating in the simulated delivery room scenario by practicing and demonstrating communication of the checklist items. When used as a visual aid during patient care, obstetric nurses may use parts of the checklist as a visual recall tool when communicating with pediatric providers during deliveries. Further, to enhance communication recall between teams, copies of the checklist may be posted close to infant warmers. Finally, the checklist may be used as an assessment tool to help educators and quality improvement specialists identify areas for improvement in delivery room communication. Assessments may be performed either by directly observing team communication during simulated or actual deliveries, or by reviewing videos of team communication. Results: The checklist has been validated (following the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Using the checklist, we have demonstrated improvement in team communication during simulated deliveries over a 3-year assessment period, as well as during high-risk deliveries. Discussion: The Delivery Room Communication Checklist is an effective tool for standardizing handoff communication between obstetric and pediatric teams during deliveries.
- Improve student and provider knowledge, communication skills, and behavior during infant deliveries.
- Standardize communication between obstetric teams, pediatric teams, and families during infant deliveries.
- After using this resource, learners will be able to:
- List the different time points before, during, and after a delivery when communication of vital information among obstetric providers, pediatric providers, and family members should occur.
- Identify specific elements of maternal and fetal history that are important to the resuscitation and stabilization of the newborn.
- Explain the importance of different communication items during a delivery.
- Demonstrate effective communication during a simulated or actual delivery as either an obstetric or pediatric provider, using the checklist as a guide.
None to report.
The development and validation of the Delivery Room Communication Checklist was supported in part by the Dean's Teaching Fellowship Program from the University of Rochester School of Medicine an Dentistry, the Strong Children's Research Center from the University of Rochester Medical Center, and the Health Resources and Services Administration from the Department of Health and Human Services (grant number T21MC18129-01-00).
- Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Preventing infant death and injury during delivery. Jt Comm Perspect 2004;24:14-5.
- Gephart SM, Cholette M. P.U.R.E. Communication: a strategy to improve care-coordination for high risk birth. Newborn Infant Nurs Rev 2012;12:109-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.nainr.2012.03.007
- Simpson KR, Knox GE. Common areas of litigation related to care during labor and birth - recommendations to promote patient safety and decrease risk exposure. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs 2003;17:110-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00005237-200304000-00004
- Grobman WA, Holl J, Woods D, Gleason KM, Wassilak B, Szekendi MK. Perspectives on communication in labor and delivery: a focus group analysis. J Perinatol 2011;31:240-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/jp.2010.147
- Dadiz R, Weinschreider J, Schriefer J, Arnold C, Greves CD, Crosby EC, Wang H, Pressman EK, Guillet R. Interdisciplinary simulation-based training to improve delivery room communication. Simul Healthc 2013;8(5):279-91. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SIH.0b013e31829543a3
- Downing SM. Validity: on meaningful interpretation of assessment data. Med Educ 2003;37:830-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2923.2003.01594.x
- American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association. Textbook of Neonatal Resuscitation, 5th edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association, 2006.
- Hales B, Terblanche M, Fowler R, Sibbald W. Development of medical checklists for improved quality of patient care. Int J Qual Health Care 2008;20:22-30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzm062
- Arora V, Johnson J. A model for building a standardized hand-off protocol. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf 2006;32:646-55.
- Hargis G, Carey M, Hernandez AK, Hughes P, Longo D, Rouiller S, Wilde E. Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, 2008.
- Helminski L, Koberna S. Total Quality in Instruction: A Systems Approach, Academic Initiatives in Total Quality for Higher Education. Edited by Roberts HV. Milwaukee, WI: ASQC Quality Press, 1995, pg. 322.
- Dadiz R, Schriefer J, Weinschreider J, Arnold C, Pressman EK, Guillet R. Obstetric and Pediatric Communication during high-risk deliveries improves with simulation-based training. Pediatr Res;E-PAS2013;4502.59 (abstract).
- Dadiz R, Schriefer J, Weinschreider J, Arnold C, Pressman EK, Guillet R. Delivery room communication improves after implementing simulation-based team training. Simul Healthcare 2012;7(6):SSIH 658 (abstract).
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license.