The South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (SASOG) has devised a programme with the intention of promoting safer deliveries, healthier babies, better outcomes all round and consequently decreased opportunities for litigation.
The BetterObs program consists of 4 pillars.
The Obstetrician, who will be tasked to do the following:
- Adhere to the SASOG protocols (introduced into all labour wards in RSA by SASOG). These protocols will be dated and SASOG "stamped" to ensure validity.
Attend at least 50% of the M and M meetings as arranged by the hospital
Complete a delivery report on each delivery ( to be seen as a medico legal document)
Comply with the SASOG peer review process
Informing the patient about the BetterObs program and the SASOG Mediation committee and its function
The treating Paediatrician, who will be tasked to do the following:
- Complete a discharge summary on each neonate discharged from the hospital and notify the delivering obstetrician if a neonate is re admitted (in the same or in a different hospital).
- Attend the M and M meetings if an adverse event occurred and so support the learning process
- Make the patient aware about the BetterObs program by handing out the BetterObs info sheet (personalized by the Hospital group)
Ensure the taking place of the M and M meeting every second month
Withdraw the delivery rights of an obstetrician not attending the minimum number of M and M meetings (as prescribed in the BetterObs program). This to be done with the support of the SASOG Mediation and Peer review committee.
- To sign that they have been informed of the complaint channels to be the Dr/Hosp.
- The SASOG mediation committee (through the SASOG secretary) if the above fails
The Lead Obstetrician
(to be appointed in each hospital (can be a rotating position)) is to lead the program in each hospital (along with the Hosp manager) and will also be responsible to lead/delegate the teaching sessions for the nursing staff in each hospital.
will be/ have been handed out to the hospital groups to be introduced into the labour wards (July 2016).
The Obstetric Handbook
(written by Prof Priya Soma - Pillay) is being purchased by the hospital groups and handed to each Obstetrician (as a commitment and endorsement to the BetterObs program). The hospital groups can/will also have this book available for their nursing staff.
The Mediation Committee Panel
(Appointed by SASOG) will mediate potential litigation cases (if adverse events occur), in order to prevent legal action, but to ensure a fair outcome for all involved.
If Mediation is needed then a Mediation sub committee consisting of 3 members from this panel will be appointed by the SASOG Executive committee. This subcommittee will then review all the facts of the case at hand, give a recommendation on their findings and a pointer on the way forward to the SASOG Executive committee and the colleague involved (and his/her insurers). If mediation with the patient involved is indicated, this process will then also be done by this appointed committee.
The Mediation Committee will not only function in the field of Obstetrics, but also in the whole field of Gynaecology (therefore the gynaecologists on the panel). This Mediation panel will thus support the SASOG Peer review committee (lead by Prof Gerhard Lindeque) as well as the "self" peer review process of the local M and M meetings.