Labor Link: A Tool to Reduce Burnout for Obstetricians
Clinicians are spending more and more time on clinical documentation, which is a major driver of clinician dissatisfaction and burnout. For obstetricians, documentation is essential because a complete and accurate medical record is critical in reminding them and helping others understand the care of the laboring patient.
Making Intrapartum Documentation Easier and Faster
Across Northwestern Medicine, more than 20,000 babies are delivered every year, which means the health system provides inpatient obstetric care for about 15% of all births in Illinois each year. With each of these labors progressing at different rates, and obstetricians balancing multiple clinical needs and tasks based upon urgency, timely and accurate documentation ensures the care team is aligned on each individual plan of care. However, it is physically impossible for obstetricians to be at a bedside continuously during labor, and even if they could be, that would leave little opportunity to document the care being provided.
An important consideration during management of labor is the fetal heartrate tracing (FHT). The FHT gives obstetricians insight into how the fetus is doing throughout the labor process. However, the existing process for accessing FHTs electronically is time-consuming and cumbersome. Additionally, clinicians have to access the FHT and document it in different electronic platforms, making it burdensome for care teams to switch between the two.
To make this process easier and faster for obstetricians, teams at Northwestern Medicine have created Labor Link, a novel software application that allows obstetricians to access, assess and document on FHTs from their approved mobile devices — whether they are at home, in their office or elsewhere in the hospital.