Vision of the Future of Obstetrics

OB 3.0 eBook Available

A Vision of the Future of Obstetrics

The leaves of the trees were just starting to show their autumn blush when a group of leading obstetricians, clinical researchers, software developers, risk management, and labor & delivery clinicians gathered to start thinking about the future.

They spent three days talking, thinking, arguing, reviewing, and learning.  There was a bit of fly-fishing too.  Each brought their expertise, their thought-leadership to bear to meet the following goals:

  • Defining and describing the current challenges faced in obstetric patient care.
  • Partitioning and prioritizing the challenges that technology might help resolve.
  • Describing the research and development needed to demonstrate the impact of this technology.

The sessions — titled OB 3.0 — resulted in a crystallized vision — a road map — for improving obstetric care using advanced technology and process improvement.

This road map is now shared in “A Vision of the Future of Obstetrics,” a free ebook now available as an iBook on the Apple Store or via PDF.

Excerpt: Obstetrics is particularly well positioned to benefit from advanced technology.  Suffering from high malpractice exposure, a shrinking population of hands-on clinicians, and patient profiles with increasing complexity, many of the country’s leading obstetricians are looking to augment traditional training and education with tools designed to address specific weak links in the care process…
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Standardization of Care:
Excerpts: The lessons learned from recent and dramatic stories of implementation of various aspects of a comprehensive safety program on the obstetrical unit demonstrate that such uniform processes have, like in other complex organizations, led to widespread improvement in such outcomes as lowering cesarean section rates and decreasing malpractice claims and costs…

When considering impediments to the delivery of standardized health care, two issues quickly took the lead outranking other issues by far: miscommunication and normalization of deviance.
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Practical & Desirable Solutions to Sustain the Delivery of Standardized Health Care:
Excerpt: …healthcare information technologies can play a role in three areas:

  1. Providing assistance at the bedside
  2. Helping leaders and managers to shape organizational behavior
  3. Bringing highly qualified personnel to the bedside in virtual fashion

Top Clinical Practices to Sustain Standardized Health Care
Excerpt: Five key principles of designing a standardized system were distilled:

  1. Select a reasonable process
  2. Analyze and modify
  3. Target critical behaviors
  4. Clarify and define
  5. Choose wisely

Excerpt: The core challenges of obstetrical care — miscommunication and normalization of deviance combined with adversity to innovation can be countered with conversion to cultures of safety and with technological tools that truly mitigate the underlying causes of medical error and improve clinician efficiency.
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The OB 3.0 sessions in Colorado brought together a remarkable team of obstetric thought-leaders, each with a unique perspective and dedication to improving patient care.

Matthew Sappern

Chief Executive Officer

PeriGen, Inc.

Matt Sappern joined PeriGen from his position as Senior Vice President, Client Sales at Allscripts, a $1.3 billion global leader in the electronic medical records industry.  At Allscripts, Matt’s Client Sales team achieved record bookings in 2011.  Matt joined Allscripts in 2010 following its merger with Eclipsys, where he served as a corporate officer and Senior Vice President of Professional Services responsible for directing the Services division, encompassing the company’s consulting, 
implementation, and education and training services. Before that, he served as Senior Vice President of Technology Solution Services at Eclipsys, which he joined in 2003, after serving in leadership roles at WebMD, Time Warner, Primedia and Young & Rubicam. Matt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

Thomas J. Garite MD

Chief Medical Officer

PeriGen, Inc.

A specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine, in addition to his work with PeriGen and its clients, Thomas J. Garite, MD, holds two positions which include: Chairman, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Foundation and Director of Research and Education for Obstetrix/Pediatrix Medical Group. He is also the former Editor-In-Chief of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Garite is the author or co-author of five textbooks and has published over 100 original journal articles and a similar number of abstracts, chapters and invited articles. He is a past president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, as well as a twelve-year member of its Board of Directors. He has also served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Division of Maternal Fetal 
Medicine of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Director of the Oral Examinations for this Board, as well as a Member of the Technical Bulletin and Course Coordination Committee of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. A recipient of the Career Achievement Award from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the National Teaching Award from the 
Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Garite remains active in clinical research.

Yoni Barnhard, MD


Department of OB/Gyn

Norwalk Hospital

Yoni Barnhard, MD is Chair of the Department of OB/Gyn and Director of Maternal and Child Health at Norwalk Hospital. Norwalk, part of the Western Connecticut Health Network, delivers 
approximately 1,700 babies and services the Norwalk, CT area.

Specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Dr. Barnhard has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles on Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and is a member of numerous maternal fetal medicine societies. Dr. Barnhard is the former Vice-Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Director of Obstetrics, and the Director of Quality Improvement & Patient Safety at Lenox Hill Hospital.

He has held academic appointments at Mount Sinai Medical Center and the State University of New York, and is currently on the faculty of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. Dr. Barnhard’s specific areas of interest include family umbilical cord banking, prenatal molecular diagnostic testing, and fetal 
ultrasound. A graduate of Columbia University, Dr. Barnhard attended the Stackler School of 
Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, and completed his residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Stephen R. Brzezinski


Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook

Stephen Brzezinski is a principal of Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook, a medical 
malpractice defense law firm with offices located throughout the Great Lakes region. He takes a 
leadership role in the firm’s birth trauma defense practice. A member of the firm since 1991, Mr. Brzezinski has developed a unique expertise in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as birth trauma 
defense litigation.

In addition to his distinguished legal practice, Mr. Brzezinski regularly makes presentations across the country on a variety of legal issues facing physicians and nurses in the fields of obstetrics and 
gynecology. These include presentations at national and regional meetings of attorneys, physicians and risk management experts.

Steven L. Clark, MD

Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Maternal Fetal Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine

Houston, TX

Steven L. Clark, MD is a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. TX. He received his MFM from the University of Southern California and is MD from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine.

He is a Past President of the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and a Past Chair of the American 
College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Technical Bulletin Committee. In addition he is active in The Joint Commission of Perinatal Care Technical Advisory Board.

Dr. Clark is well-known perinatal presenter and author of a wide selection of journal and book 

Rebecca Cypher, MSN, PNNP
Chief Nursing Officer
PeriGen, Inc.
Princeton, NJ

A perinatal nurse practitioner specializing in high risk obstetrics, Becky Cypher brings to PeriGen a wealth of military and civilian experience that includes clinical and leadership roles spanning more than 25 years of experience. Becky retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2008 after serving two decades of active duty service. She has held numerous leadership positions in the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses including section chair and secretary treasurer, two terms on the national board of directors; and a member of numerous committees, most notably the revision committees for the fetal monitoring programs.

Becky is the author or co-author of several peer reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters.  She is the co-editor on the fetal monitoring textbook: “Pocket Guide to Fetal Monitoring: A Multidisciplinary Approach”. Becky continues to consult and lecture nationally on a variety of OB topics and currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing.

Emily Hamilton, MDCM

Senior Vice President of Clinical Research

PeriGen, Inc.

Montreal, Canada

An experienced obstetrician, Emily Hamilton has held various academic appointments at McGill 
University, including Director of the Residency Education Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Director of Perinatology. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McGill, as well as leading PeriGen’s clinical research team.

With over 20 years of experience as a practicing obstetrician, Emily has served on various Canadian National Task Forces defining Clinical Practice Guidelines for fetal surveillance. Her research team has included members with diverse backgrounds such as mathematics, computer science and 
engineering along with experienced nursing and medical clinicians. They were successful in creating mathematical models to be used at the bedside to help the clinicians assess fetal heart rate 
patterns, labor progress, and the risk of shoulder dystocia. This research was applied to the development of the PeriCALM® suite of fetal monitoring technologies. Emily presents regularly at academic 
conferences focusing on patient safety and risk management for obstetrical services, and holds 31 
US and international patents related to obstetrics.

Chip Long

Senior Vice President of Growth & Development

PeriGen, Inc.

Chip Long is an executive healthcare IT and military veteran bringing nearly 30 years of provider and vendor experience to PeriGen.  In his role as Senior Vice President of Growth and Development, Chip is responsible for directing all efforts concerning marketing, lead generation, field sales, account 
management, and business development. Chip joined PeriGen from Merge Healthcare, where he served as vice president of sales for the eastern region of the United States.  Previously, he was a senior member of the team that led Extended Care Information Network (ECIN) to a successful 
acquisition by Allscripts and served in various leadership roles at Enterprise Systems, Inc. (ESI) through its IPO and subsequent acquisitions first by HBOC and ultimately by McKesson in 1998.  Chip began his health care career as a nursing information systems specialist at the University of South Alabama Medical Center.  He also served as a telecommunications specialist with the U.S. Army, first on active duty from 1982 to 1984, and an active reservist through 1989.  Chip holds a BA from the University of West Florida and MBA from Loyola University.

Stephanie Martin, DO

Southern Colorado MFM

Director, Southern Colorado Maternal Fetal Medicine

Director, Maternal Fetal Medicine, St Francis Medical Center/Centura Southstate

Visiting Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

University of Colorado School of Medicine

Dr. Stephanie Martin is board-certified in Ob/Gyn and Maternal Fetal Medicine. She currently serves on the board of the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. After college at the University of Dallas, she graduated from medical school at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth. From there she moved to California and completed her OB/Gyn residency and MFM fellowship at the University of California Irvine Medicine Center in 2000.

Her particular expertise is in obstetric critical care and complex maternal medical conditions, 
particularly cardiac disease. Dr. Martin has authored multiple book chapters and articles on the 
topics of critical care obstetrics, maternal cardiac disease, maternal pulmonary disease and cardiac arrest, among other topics. She is a sought after speaker and has traveled internationally to give talks on these and other obstetrical issues.

Duncan Neilson, MD

Clinical Vice President

Legacy Medical Group

Portland, OR

Duncan Neilson, MD is Clinical Vice President of Legacy Health’s Surgical Specialties Division. 
Legacy is a five-hospital health system serving Oregon and Southwest Washington state that delivers approximately 7,140 babies a year.

His initial assignment at Legacy was as an OB/GYN staff physician. He has served as Chief of Women’s Services and on the Board of Legacy Health System. He is actively involved in the 
American College of OB/GYN, the American College of Surgeons, the Pacific Coast OB/GYN Society, and the Society for Humanism in Medicine.

Dr. Neilson earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University where he was Alpha Omega Alpha. He did his internship and residency at John Hopkins Hospital.

Alfred G. Robichaux, III, MD

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Ochsner Health System

Jefferson, LA

Alfred G. Robichaux, III, MD leads the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology for Ochsner Health System, an 11-hospital system delivering an estimated 7,200 babies a year and serving southeast Louisiana. Dr. Robichaux earned his medical degree from the Louisiana State University Health 
Sciences Center. Following graduation, he completed his internship and residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation. In 1984, Dr. Robichaux completed a Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship at the George Washington School of Medicine. He serves on the ACOG Committee on Patient Education and the Committee on Obstetric Practice.

In a survey of doctor’s attitudes about their peers, Dr. Robichaux was named the Top Obstetrician in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area, according to New Orleans Magazine. He consistently ranks as one of the Best Doctors in America in several national publications and was named to the prestigious Who’s Who in the South and the Southwest. Dr. Robichaux was also appointed by the governor to serve on the Louisiana Perinatal Commission. He has been on staff at Ochsner since 2005 and 
practices at the Ochsner Baptist Medical Center in New Orleans.

Dr. Robichaux is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and maternal fetal medicine. His areas of special interest include fetal surgery, fetal malformations, and pregnancy problems.

Sam Smith, MD

Chairman & Medical Director

Obstetrics & Gynecology

MedStar Franklin Square

Baltimore, MD

Samuel Smith, MD, is chairman of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and medical director of the Women’s and Children’s Service Line at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center a hospital serving Baltimore, MD that delivers approximately 2,351 babies a year. He is also chairman of the 
Department of OB-GYN at MedStar Harbor Hospital which also serves Baltimore. This location 
delivers an estimated 1,484 babies a year. He is an associate professor in the Department of 
Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Smith received his medical degree in 1981 from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center in 1985, and completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology-Infertility at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 1987. Dr. Smith is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology-Infertility. He served on the ASRM Practice Committee for six years and was chair of the ASRM Patient Education Committee for six years.

Dr. Smith has received numerous honors and recognitions including Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha, and Baltimore’s Top Doctor Award in Reproductive Endocrinology-Infertility for six consecutive years. He has distinguished himself in the area of Patient Safety and Quality as the Chairman of 
MedStar Health’s Council for Ideal Obstetrical Care. Most recently, he is a founding member and on the Board of Directors of the ACOG Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care.

John Yeast, MD, MSPH

Vice President of Research & Education

Saint Luke’s Hospital

Kansas City, MO

John Yeast, M.D., M.S.P.H., is the Vice President of Research & Education at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Missouri and CEO of Saint Luke’s Physician Specialists, LLC. The Saint Luke’s Health System is comprised of ten hospitals across the Kansas City region delivering over 6,000 babies a year. Dr. Yeast is also Professor and Vice-Chairman in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Missouri-Kansas City. He also serves as the Research Institutional Official for Saint Luke’s Hospital.

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