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Northern Health perinatal clinical practice standard adopted nationally


Doctor writing on a clipboard.

Receiving national recognition

For a relatively small health authority in Northern BC, receiving national recognition is a big deal. Having their clinical practice standard adopted by a national organization is an even bigger deal.

In 2015, a team of doctors, nurses, and health care professionals from across the region worked together to create a suite of standards to provide options for the induction of labour. The team was responsible for creating guidance for appropriate and safe patient care known as a clinical practice standard for Misoprostol Induction of Labour. The drug is one of the options physicians may choose to induce labour. The end clinical practice standard gives instructions on how to administer the drug and how registered nurses monitor the patient.

“As an organization, it’s important to have different clinical practice standards in place to make sure we are providing the safest care possible and applying evidence with consideration to resources available,” shared Linda Axen, Regional Manager, Policies & Clinical Practice Standards. “The creation of this clinical practice standard shows the importance of collaboration between different professions, and what can happen as a result.”

Everyone’s hard work was recognized as a best practice for the entire country. In October 2019, The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) shared their recommendations to adopt Northern Health’s Misoprostol Induction of Labour clinical practice standard to support induction of labour. This recommendation is highlighted as an alternative protocol to Oxytocin due to a current national Oxytocin shortage.

SOGC promotes excellence in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology to advance the health of women through leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and education. Their members include obstetricians, gynaecologists, family physicians, nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals working in the field of women’s sexual and reproductive health.

“It’s a tremendous honour to see the Northern Health clinical practice standard has been chosen by SOGC as an example for the entire country,” said Vanessa Salmons, Executive Lead, Perinatal Program. “It make us proud and validates the quality of our work, and the expertise of our staff and physicians.”

Congratulations to all of the physicians, nurses, and health care staff that contributed to creating this clinical practice standard. It’s a well deserved honour.