Martin JK, Price-Haywood EG, Gastanaduy MM, Fort DG, Ford MK, Peterson SP, Biggio JR
Objective Centralized remote fetal monitoring (CRFM) has been proposed as a method to improve the performance of intrapartum fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring and perinatal outcomes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether CRFM was associated with a reduction in unexpected term neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions.Study Design A pre-post design was used to examine the effectiveness of CRFM which was implemented in stages across five hospitals. The exposure group was all women who underwent intrapartum monitoring via CRFM. The unexposed group was of women who delivered at the same hospitals prior to implementation of CRFM. Pregnancies with expected NICU admissions, gestational age <37 weeks, birth weight <2,500 g, or major fetal anomalies detected prenatally were excluded. The primary outcome was unexpected term NICU admission; secondary outcomes were cesarean and operative vaginal delivery (OVD), and 5-minute Apgar score of t , Wilcoxon's, Chi-square, and Fisher's exact tests. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to control for potential confounders.Results There were 19,392 live births included in this analysis. In the univariable analysis, the odds of unexpected term NICU admission was lower among the CRFM exposed group compared with the unexposed group (odds ratio [OR] = 0.86, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.75-0.99; p = 0.038). In multivariable analysis, this did not reach statistical significance (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.79-1.06; p = 0.24). Cesarean and OVD were less likely in the exposed group (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.85-0.97; p = 0.008) and (OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.59-0.83, p < 0.001), respectively, in univariable analysis. When adjusted for potential confounders, the effect remained statistically significant for cesarean delivery (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.85-0.98; p = 0.012). When adjusted for hospital, OVD rate was lower at the highest volume and highest acuity site (OR = 0.48, 95% CI: 0.36-0.65, p < 0.001).Conclusion In some practice settings, utilization of a CRFM system may decrease the risk of unexpected term NICU admission, cesarean, and OVD rate.