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Intrapartum Fetal Monitoring: Liability and Documentation


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: March 2011 - Volume 54 - Issue 1 - p 50–55
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31820a0e27
Intrapartum Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring

Litigation in obstetrics is common, and evidence suggests that a disturbingly high number of poor outcomes are preventable. Risk management related to fetal monitoring must include both the creation of systems to provide safer care and the mitigation of liability exposure through the use of protocols and documentation strategies that are designed to provide evidence of clinicians’ attentive and appropriate care. A simplified approach to documentation is reviewed, along with suggestions for frequency of documentation, standardization of common abbreviations, and samples of concise but inclusive progress notes.

Perinatal Risk Management and Education Services, Chicago, Illinois

Correspondence: Lisa Miller, CNM, JD, Perinatal Risk Management and Education Services, Chicago, IL. e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.