EFM Education Resources
Purpose: The electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) resources below have been compiled from a review of materials readily available on the Internet. Although PeriGen is not responsible for the creation of this content — or for its continued availability and quality — they provide a comprehensive curriculum for clinicians seeking to gain a basic understanding of EFM. In addition to these EFM training resources, we’ve found several general, free online training resources of use:
EFM Education Target Audience: Nursing and medical students seeking to gain a basic understanding of EFM or begin their journey to EFM proficiency.
- To start: A definition of electronic fetal monitoring
- The Basics of Electronic Fetal Monitoring (includes a history) by Emily Hamilton, MDCM
- The Physiology of the Fetal Heart Rate (an updated review of available research)
- The Future of EFM, an article summarizing current clinical & technology research that will impact electronic fetal monitoring
- ACOG’s EFM Training Toolkit (member log in required)
- Free study resource quiz
- EFM Education Certification programs offered by AWHONN
- The open-access EFM education credentialing examination offered by the Perinatal Quality Foundation
- A review of how current state-of-the-art EFM systems and perinatal analysis software work to support clinical care:
Electronic fetal monitoring definition:
Electronic fetal monitoring or EFM is the practice of measuring and displaying fetal heart rate and contraction rate during labor. Traditionally, the output of EFM takes the form of tracings — a visual display of the fetal heart rate on top and the contraction rate on the bottom.
Like much technology, electronic fetal monitoring has progressed rapidly. The latest EFM software offers specialized displays so a detailed view of the tracing can be seen simultaneously with a longer term overview for trend analysis, pattern recognition, and color-coded notifications when specific combinations of EFM patterns are present. All of these advances help labor & delivery clinicians to spend less time on manual calculations, support improved care decisions, and better manage multiple patients.
This technology adds statistical analysis to the traditional EFM display to highlight abnormal patterns, yield meaningful summary information, and display the meaningful interaction between contractions and fetal heart rate via color-coded visual cues.
Some of the most recent technology adds an even greater depth of statistical interpretation to labor progress, comparing a single patient’s measurements to a large population of others sharing similar characteristics.