How Do Obstetric and Neonatology Teams Communicate Prior to High-Risk Deliveries?

Am J Perinatol. 2018 Jan;35(1):10-15. doi: 10.1055/s-0037-1604391. Epub 2017 Jul 20.


Background: Improving communication in healthcare improves the quality of care and patient outcomes, but communication between obstetric and neonatal teams before and during a high-risk delivery is poorly studied.

Study design: We developed a survey to study communication between obstetric and neonatal teams around the time of a high-risk delivery. We surveyed neonatologists from North America and asked them to answer questions about their institutions' communication practices.

Results: The survey answers revealed variations in communication practices between responders. Most institutions relied on nursing to communicate obstetric information to the neonatal team. Although a minority of institutions used a standardized communication process to summon neonatology team or to communicate in the delivery room, these reported higher rates of information sharing and greater satisfaction with communication between services.

Conclusion: Standardized communication procedures are an underutilized method of communication and have the potential to improve communication around high-risk deliveries.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Delivery, Obstetric / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / organization & administration
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Neonatology / standards
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / prevention & control
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient Handoff / standards*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires