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Authors

  1. Krening, Cynthia F. MS, RNC-OB, C-EFM
  2. Rehling-Anthony, Kimberly MSN, RN, WHNP, IBCLC, C-EFM
  3. Garko, Candace MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM

Abstract

The use of oxytocin, a high-alert medication, has increased dramatically in recent years as induction rates have risen. Methods for administration of oxytocin and subsequent outcomes have long been a source of debate. Furthermore, one of the leading causes of obstetrical liability claims involves the administration of oxytocin leading to tachysystole. This article describes how a collaborative of Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialists and Obstetric Nurse Educators for a 9-hospital healthcare system throughout Colorado undertook a system-wide process-improvement project to increase safety for pregnant women receiving oxytocin. The goal of this initiative was to decrease risk exposure by successfully implementing a standardized evidence-based protocol and processes across the healthcare system. There has been implementation of standardized oxytocin mixtures, low-dose administration guidelines, and safety checklists to assure fetal and maternal well-being before initiation of oxytocin and increases in oxytocin dosages. The associated outcomes after this initiative have been shorter lengths of labor, decreased incidence of tachysystole, and decreased incidence of primary cesarean birth.