Toolkit for Improving Perinatal Safety

AHRQ Safety Program for Perinatal Care


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed the Safety Program for Perinatal Care (SPPC) in order to improve the patient safety culture of labor and delivery (L&D) units and decrease maternal and neonatal adverse events resulting from poor communication and system failures. The SPPC is organized around three program pillars, which include: Teamwork and Communication skills, Perinatal Safety Strategies, and In Situ Simulation training. This toolkit was developed to support implementation of the three program pillars. The toolkit helps L&D units improve patient safety, team communication, and quality of care for mothers and their newborns. It builds on knowledge gained from AHRQ's Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) and the TeamSTEPPS® teamwork system, and from findings from AHRQ's patient safety and medical liability initiative demonstration grants. The tools can be customized to local unit processes and procedures.


How To Use the Toolkit for Improving Perinatal Safety

The Toolkit is organized around three pillars—Teamwork and Communication for Perinatal Safety, Perinatal Safety Strategies, and In Situ Simulations—that an L&D unit can use to teach team members how to apply CUSP to prevent obstetrical adverse events. Use of this toolkit can create or enhance a culture of patient safety to significantly reduce preventable errors.

Toolkit Pillars

Each pillar contains a PowerPoint slide set, accompanying facilitator guide, and supporting CUSP tools to support change at the unit level.

Success Stories of Five Labor and Delivery Units Using the Toolkit

"AHRQ Safety Program for Perinatal Care: Experiences From the Frontline" describes the implementation experiences of five L&D units that successfully implemented the program.

About the Toolkit Development

The toolkit was developed as part of a national implementation project to improve patient safety in L&D units. The five-year project brought together subject matter experts and participating hospitals across the country.

Page last reviewed June 2017
Page originally created November 2014
Internet Citation: Toolkit for Improving Perinatal Safety. Content last reviewed June 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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