May 2015 • By Diana Austin

Driven by a rising maternal mortality rate in the US, three influential women’s health care journals have jointly published a blueprint for improving communication and safety in the care of women during childbirth. The paper – whose lead author was UC San Francisco School of Nursing faculty member Audrey Lyndon – identified communication problems among clinicians, patients, families and administrators as a major concern that needs to be addressed.

Unprecedented Collaboration

While the reasons for the rising mortality rate remain unclear, “Every organization involved in providing care for women during labor and birth needs to take this on as something that they’re going to solve,” says Lyndon. 

As part of an unprecedented cooperative effort between several such organizations – including the American College of Nurse Midwives, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine – Lyndon and colleagues from these groups did two initial studies to identify the patient safety issues confronting nurses, midwives, physicians and others involved in maternity care. These studies uncovered communication problems and disconnects between clinicians and administrators as key threats to patient safety.

The Dean's Blog | David Vlahov

When nursing is the topic of conversation, terms such as expert clinical knowledgeauthentic compassionkeen observationorganized patient managementcomplex care coordination and passionate advocacy flow easily.

Outside of the nursing community, however, when I talk about nursing science – nursing research – I often get blank looks and questions like: Why are nurses doing research? What distinguishes nursing science from medical research?

Given our powerful, but often unsung, impact on the quality of countless patients’ lives, it disturbs me that people don’t understand what we do. So allow me to try to explain.

Featured Articles

May 2015
Can Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioners Fill California’s Provider Gap? – In California, there are not nearly enough mental health providers. County-run programs are particularly hard-pressed to meet the needs of the severely mentally ill. Psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) have the right skill set to help, but can counties make full use of those skills?
May 2015
Across the World – A former UC San Francisco School of Nursing faculty member runs into a former student at a boutique hotel and cultural center she runs in southwest China.
April 2015
American Nurses Association Issues Guidelines to Reduce Risk of Nurse Fatigue for Patients and Nurses – Sleep and fatigue expert Kathryn Lee – associate dean for research at UCSF School of Nursing – discusses new ANA recommendations for preventing nurse fatigue.
April 2015
How We Age: Elena Portacolone Looks at Older Adults Living Alone – Social scientist Elena Portacolone explores what it means and what people need to age in place successfully.
April 2015
UCSF-Led Study Finds Lasting Wage Gap Between Male and Female Nurses – According to a recently released study led by UC San Francisco School of Nursing professor Ulrike Muench, nursing – a female-dominated profession – is not immune to the same types of gender-based pay inequality that exist in many other professions.