Massachusetts Hospital Uses Fetal Monitoring Device to Assess Elective Labor Induction Policy

July 25, 2013

July 25, 2013

Baystate Medical Center in Massachusetts carried out a study to validate their departmental policy to reduce the number of early induction deliveries in the hospital using fetal surveillance systems. The researchers based the study on the electronic health record derived from the fetal heart monitor.

The hospital implemented a policy that restricts elective inductions before 39 weeks to improve the health of infants and their mothers. Andrew Healy, Medical Director of Obstetrics at Baystate Medical Center who co-led the study indicated that there is an increasing trend in the practice of early induced labor and delivery. Healy explained that these might be “performed without a valid medical reason”.

“[I]t comes as no surprise that an unintended consequence is the increase in cesarean births especially if an induction fails. C-sections prolong the mother's typical two- to three-day admission stay up to five to seven days…[i]n an era of health reform to improve patient care and control costs, one must ask, 'How can we minimize these prolonged inductions and increase the likelihood for a successful full-term delivery?'," Healy said.

The Baystate team used fetal heart monitors from PeriGen for the study, showing promising results before and after implementation of the hospital’s policy. The researchers studied more than 11,000 medical records of singleton births. Data query revealed that unnecessary inductions were decreased from 16 percent to 7 percent, average time from admission to delivery was reduced to six hours, and admission rate to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) decreased from 3 to 2 percent.

Fetal heart monitoring has greatly contributed to not only improving fetal and maternal health, but also cutting costs in the medical practice. This prenatal check up procedure has helped clinicians specifically assess if certain procedures like induced labor should be carried out to improve fetal and maternal health.

To ensure accurate readings are achieved, it is essential that fetal heart monitoring devices are well-maintained and properly-serviced. AIV provides accessories and repair services for fetal monitoring equipment from leading manufacturers. Browse through AIV’s full line of fetal transducers and services at

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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