Improving Interprofessional Consistency in Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Interpretation

Shravya Govindappagari, Sahar Zaghi, Ferdous Zannat, Laura Reimers, Dena Goffman, Irene Kassel, Peter S. Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective To determine if mandatory online training in electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) improved agreement in documentation between obstetric care providers and nurses on labor and delivery. Methods Health care professionals working in obstetrics at our institution were required to complete a course on EFM interpretation. We performed a retrospective chart review of 701 charts including patients delivered before and after the introduction of the course to evaluate agreement among providers in their documentation of their interpretations of the EFM tracings. Results Agreement between provider and nurse documentation at the time of admission improved for variability and accelerations (variability: 91.1 vs. 98.3%, p <0.001; and accelerations: 75.2 vs. 87.7%, p <0.001). Similarly, agreement improved at the time of the last note prior to delivery for documentation of variability and accelerations (variability: 82.1 vs. 90.6%, p = 0.001; and accelerations: 56.7 vs. 68.6%, p = 0.0012). Agreement in interpretation of decelerations both at the time of admission and at the time of delivery increased (86.3 vs. 90.6%, p = 0.0787, and 56.7 vs. 61.1%, p = 0.2314, respectively) but was not significant. Conclusion An online EFM course can significantly improve consistency in multidisciplinary documentation of fetal heart rate tracing interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 28 2015


  • accelerations
  • consistency
  • decelerations
  • electronic fetal monitoring
  • variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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