ACOG's "reVITALize" Project Wants Your Opinion!

By Christine H. Morton, PhD

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has undertaken the reVITALize Project and they want your help, thoughts and input. A significant revolution is underway in maternity care.  With increased attention on maternal health outcomes, the measurement and reporting of key maternal quality metrics is on the agenda of childbearing women, maternal health advocates, payers and purchasers, hospitals, regulatory agencies and maternity care clinicians.    An important element of this revolution is an effort to clearly define what we mean when we talk about pregnancy and childbirth in the data sources most utilized in developing these measures – patient medical charts, registries, electronic medical records, patient discharge data, and our vital statistics (birth certificates).

This is an important and critical opportunity for all stakeholders in US Maternity Care to contribute to the national dialogue on measuring maternal health outcomes.

From the ACOG website: 

The reVITALize Obstetric Data Definitions Conference in early August 2012 brought together over 80 national leaders in women’s health care with the common goal of standardizing clinical obstetric data definitions for use in registries, electronic medical record systems, and vital statistics. Over the course of the two-day in-person meeting and the months that followed, more than 60 obstetrical definitions were reviewed, discussed, and refined.  Data elements included: induction of labor, gestational age and term, parity, TOLAC, and more. The full executive summary of the reVITALize Obstetric Data Definitions Conference can be read here.

The public comment period for the definitions of these data elements ends January 15, 2013. To submit comments, click on one of the category links below to open the respective Public Comment form. The data elements contained within each Public Comment form have been grouped according to category; the data elements assigned to each category are listed under the category heading below. You are permitted to comment on any number of categories. You can also view an alphabetical listing of all data elements available for comment here.


  • Cesarean Delivery
  • Date of Delivery
  • Forceps Assistance
  • Malpresentation
  • Perineal Lacerations
  • Placenta Accreta
  • Primary Cesarean Delivery
  • Repeat Cesarean Delivery
  • Shoulder Dystocia
  • Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery
  • Vacuum Assistance
  • Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
  • Vertex Presentation

Gestational Age & Term

  • Preterm
  • Early Term
  • Full Term
  • Late Term
  • Post Term
  • Estimated Date of Delivery
  • Gestational Age (calculation formula)


  • Artificial Rupture of Membranes
  • Augmentation of Labor
  • Duration of Ruptured Membranes
  • Induction of Labor
  • Labor
  • Labor After Cesarean
  • Non-Medically Indicated Induction of Labor or Cesarean Delivery
  • Number of Centimeters Dilated on Admission
  • Onset of Labor
  • Pharmacologic Induction of Labor
  • Physiologic Childbirth
  • Pre-Labor Rupture of Membranes
  • Spontaneous Labor and Birth
  • Spontaneous Onset of Labor
  • Spontaneous Rupture of Membranes

Maternal Indicators: Current Co-Morbidities and Complications

  • Abruption
  • Antenatal Small for Gestational Age
  • Any Antenatal Steroids
  • Clinical Chorioamnionitis
  • Depression
  • Early Postpartum Hemorrhage
  • Oligohydramnios – HOLD; Pending Further Revision
  • Polyhydramnios – HOLD: Pending Further Revision

Maternal Indicators: Historical Diagnoses

  • Chronic Hypertension
  • Gravida
  • Maternal Weight Gain During Pregnancy
  • Non-Cesarean Uterine Surgery
  • Nulliparous
  • Parity
  • Plurality
  • Positive GBS Risk Status
  • Pre-Gestational Diabetes

How to Submit Effective Comments

In order to make the process as productive as possible, please keep the following in mind when commenting:

  • Be clear. Clearly identify the issues on which you are commenting and explain your reasons for your position.
  • Be concise. Although there is no minimum or maximum requirement for comments, it is best to keep your comments short and to the point.
  • Suggest alternatives. If you identify a problem with the proposed definition on which you are commenting, consider suggesting an alternative.
  • Spread the word. If you know others who can provide helpful comments, please direct them to  for more information.

What happens to comments after they are submitted?

data notebooks

All comments received during the Public Comment period will be reviewed and logged for consideration and careful review by reVITALize leadership. The leadership teams are comprised of both clinical and operational members. Comments will be reviewed and responded to accordingly and will help to form the basis for any additional changes that need to be made to the refined definitions prior to final approval. Should comments require further clarification, the individual submitting the comment may be contacted during the review period to obtain any clarifying information needed to make an informed and appropriate decision regarding a potential revision.

Thank you for your help in making this initiative a success! Any questions or concerns should be directed to


ACOG's "reVITALize" Project Wants Your Opinion!

January 2, 2013 07:00 AM by Georg'ann
I wonder if you have any suggestions on how to understand the content area of the reVITALize website. Maybe it is just me, but it is a bit enigmatic to me. The options in the survey "support" "don't support" are confusing to me. What exactly am I supporting or not supporting? do my questions make sense?

ACOG's "reVITALize" Project Wants Your Opinion!

January 2, 2013 07:00 AM by Christine H Morton, PhD
Yes, your questions make sense! I hope my response does. The survey response options are designed to capture whether you support (agree with) the definition as listed, support the listed definition but with modifications or do not support (agree with) it. The comment box is where you can put your rationale for your response, or provide an alternative definition. so for example, with the survey item about Shoulder Dystocia A delivery complication that requires additional maneuvers to relieve impaction of the fetal shoulder. I would mark "Support" and for Early Postpartum Hemorrhage Cumulative blood loss of >=1000ml OR blood loss accompanied by sign/symptoms of hypovolemia within the first 24 hours following delivery. I might mark "Support with Modification" and note in the comment box that the amount of blood loss should be >=750ml with vaginal delivery and >= 1000ml for cesarean delivery. I know these are very technical - and some seem obvious - but it's really important to have good definitions, especially for things like 'induction' 'augmentation' 'active labor' etc., as these items will be part of the growing number of maternal quality measures to assess outcomes and compare performance by hospital and provider. There are many debates within obstetrics about definitions, and this is an important effort to establish consensus. It turns out that along with psychiatry, perinatal measures contain the most subjective data elements used in health care quality measures! all best to you in the new year! Christine

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