Obstetric safety and quality is an emerging and important topic not only as a result of the pressures of patient and regulatory expectations, but also because of the genuine interest of caregivers to reduce harm, improve outcomes, and optimize care. Although each seeks to improve care by using scientific approaches beyond human physiology and pathophysiology, patient safety methodologies seek to avoid preventable adverse events, whereas health care quality projects aim to achieve the best possible outcomes. It is well-documented that an increasingly complex medical system controlled by human workers is a circumstance subject to recurrent failure. A safety culture encourages a proactive approach to mitigate failure before, during, and after it occurs. This article highlights the key concepts in health care safety and quality and reviews the background of the quality improvement sciences with particular emphasis on obstetric outcomes and quality measures.