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SMFM Executive summary: Workshop on developing an optimal maternal-fetal medicine ultrasound practice

Cosponsored by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gottesfeld-Hohler Memorial Foundation, and Perinatal Quality Foundation    

February 7-8,  2023 


Ultrasound is foundational to the practice of maternal-fetal medicine (MFM), yet there is wide variation in MFM ultrasound practices, including operations (eg, staffing and unit design), quality assurance (QA; eg, maintaining quality standards and onboarding new providers), and strategies for managing patients with fetal anomalies (eg, counseling, genetic referrals, and communication with referring providers). In addition, previous research has documented variation in MFM fellows’ experiences of ultrasound training and comfort with obstetrical ultrasound and prenatal diagnosis. Recognizing the need to share best practices and promote consensus, a 2-day workshop on maternal-fetal ultrasound practices was held in conjunction with the 43rd Annual Pregnancy Meeting in San Francisco, California, on February 7–8, 2023. The workshop was cosponsored by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG), Gottesfeld-Hohler Memorial Foundation (GOHO), and Perinatal Quality Foundation (PQF). The workshop assembled leaders with expertise in ultrasound unit administration, QA, training, interfacing with reporting systems, and simulation. Participants represented the fields of sonography, obstetrics and gynecology, MFM, genetics, and genetic counseling. The goals of the workshop were as follows:

  • To review best practices and emerging technologies for designing and running an efficient obstetrical ultrasound unit
  • To discuss strategies for QA in the setting of obstetrical ultrasound, at the individual provider and unit level
  • To identify needs and opportunities for ongoing education and training in ultrasound imaging and ultrasound-guided procedures for MFM fellows, physicians, and sonographers
  • To review current and emerging approaches to managing the pregnant patient with obstetrical ultrasound abnormalities

This executive summary briefly reviews the main outcomes of the workshop. A comprehensive report that presents detailed clinical guidance and proposes future research directions will be published at a later date.


SMFM Statement