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GE Healthcare introduces foetal heart rate monitoring clinical education programme

GE Healthcare : 02 July, 2008  (Company News)
GE Healthcare has introduce an innovative clinical education programme, designed specifically for physicians, midwives, nurses, residents and students in obstetrics, to enhance their knowledge of foetal heart rate monitoring.
GE’s Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring Interpretation and Management education programme, developed in partnership with Frank Miller, MD, FACOG and David Miller, MD, FACOG, both leading experts in the field of foetal monitoring, emphasises the importance of using standardised NICHD terminology to describe, communicate and interpret abnormal foetal heart rate tracings.

Electronic foetal heart monitoring has been in use for 40 years. Yet, until recently there has been no agreement on standard definitions and nomenclature for interpreting foetal heart rate patterns.

“By reinforcing NICHD standardised definitions endorsed by AWHONN, ACOG and ACNM this program gives clinicians the tools they need to increase their knowledge to visually interpret fetal heart rate patterns,” said Michael Reed, manager of GE Healthcare’s Global Education for Clinical Systems Service. This interdisciplinary education provides a clear path to better communication and increased patient safety.'

“This programme has managed to integrate the underlying physiology of foetal heart rate interpretation with appropriate use of the NICHD nomenclature, making it an excellent tool for education as well as review. As an electronic foetal monitoring educator, I am always looking for innovative methods to reinforce training in foetal monitoring, and this interactive model is perfect,” said Lisa A Miller, CNM, JD, president, Perinatal Risk Management and Education Services in Chicago.

As identified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the lack of a common language to describe and interpret electronic foetal heart rate patterns has contributed to inconsistent interpretation and management, which can jeopardise patient safety. JCAHO recommended the use of standardised terminology and protocols to communicate and interpret abnormal foetal heart rate tracings.

Language and terminology is standardised, facilitating communication, thus helping to reduce errors and improve patient safety, which may result in better outcomes. This enables the health care enterprise to meet Patient safety standards set by JACHO and other accrediting groups.

The e-learning program can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection, meaning, courses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. GE’s Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring Interpretation and Management Program is a clinical education programme and does not endorse or support any medical device manufacturer.

Drs Miller developed the Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring educational programme for clinical professionals. The Millers are practicing obstetricians-gynaecologists, as well as maternal foetal medicine sub-specialists. Both did their fellowship in maternal-foetal medicine at the University of Southern California. The Millers have maintained a strong interest in teaching and research in electronic foetal monitoring.

“In 2005 and 2006, ACOG, AWHONN and ACNM endorsed the standardised definitions of foetal heart rate patterns proposed by the NICHD in 1997,” said Dr David Miller. “Agreeing to use a common language to describe fetal heart rate tracings paves the way for much needed standardisation of foetal heart rate interpretation and management. The ultimate goal is to optimise outcomes and to minimise potential sources of preventable error in intrapartum foetal heart rate monitoring.”

Dr David Miller speaks frequently on perinatal risk management and standardised terminology. Numerous requests for an educational programme from doctors and nurses in hospitals across the USA led the Millers to partner with GE to create the e-learning programme, making it more accessible and available to hospitals that need this vital information.
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