How Does SCOPE Work?

What is SCOPE?

Doctor SmilingSCOPE is a voluntary, comprehensive patient safety review program for medical offices that provide obstetric and/or gynecologic services.

SCOPE helps ob-gyns assess the implementation and use of patient safety concepts and techniques and distinguishes those offices with strong patient safety practices. Education and assistance is provided when office processes requiring improvement are identified.

SCOPE focuses solely on processes associated with enhancing the safety environment and reducing risk for patients in the office setting. SCOPE does not evaluate the quality of clinical care provided by an ob-gyn office.

How Does SCOPE Work?

Who Can Apply

Any medical practice in which obstetrics and/or gynecology services are provided can submit an Application for SCOPE review.

Offices Are Reviewed Individually

Individual offices, even within the same practice or system, have unique cultures and may provide different services. Therefore, each SCOPE review focuses on a single office location. For a practice or system with multiple offices, each office must complete an Application.

The SCOPE Review Process

Confidential SCOPE review begins with an office submitting an Application. (A master participation agreement can be completed on behalf of several offices within a practice or system, but each office must still complete an Application.) 

An Application consists of two parts:  Demographics and Questionnaire. Demographics collects basic information about the office, such as name, address, number of office personnel and types of procedures performed. The Questionnaire collects information about patient safety concepts and techniques in the office.

Applications are evaluated, and if an office meets certain criteria, a remote or on-site office review will be scheduled. Following a review, the office will receive a written report that may include recommendations based on ACOG or subspecialty society guidelines. The report is formatted to match the SCOPE Application so that offices can easily review the findings and focus on areas for improved patient safety. Offices that meet SCOPE criteria will be granted certification, valid for three years from the date of issue.

Once Your Office is Certified

Offices achieving Certification status receive a certificate to display and a marketing kit that helps demonstrate the office's commitment to patient safety in women's health care.  Included are letters to patients, health insurers, and liability insurers, as well as a template for a press release that can be used for local newspapers, newsletters, and the office's website. The "SCOPE Certified" logo can be used on the office's website, letterhead, and business cards in accordance with a signed participation agreement and usage guidelines.  Additionally, names of offices that achieve SCOPE certification are published on the SCOPE website as well as biannually in Obstetrics & Gynecology.  Also, ob-gyns who participate in SCOPE and achieve SCOPE certification for their offices are eligible to receive ABOG ‘Improvement in Medical Practice’ (Part IV) MOC credits.  Learn more about the benefits of SCOPE here.

How SCOPE Certification is Awarded

The SCOPE remote or on-site reviewer will make a confidential recommendation to SCOPE staff that the office receives one of the following certification statuses: 

1. Certification:

This is a time limited process. Certification will be for 3 years, and renewal must begin in the third year of a certification period.

2. Pending Certification:

An office can achieve certification, and avoid submitting a new Application, by addressing deficiencies or areas of concern within 6 months of the date of the written report.  Resolution and reporting of the policies and/or systems implemented to remedy the deficiency and/or area of concern are required.  Upon review and approval of these measures the office will be awarded certification status.   

3. Certification Denied:

An office requires significant advances in patient safety policies and/or systems.  These measures are determined to exceed 6 months to develop, implement and test.  The office will need to reapply for SCOPE review when all noted deficiencies are appropriately addressed.

The names of only those offices that achieve a Certification status will be published in Obstetrics & Gynecology and on the SCOPE website. Offices with a Pending Certification or a Certification Denied status are considered confidential certification categories, and therefore, are not eligible for publication.

Review sample pages of the SCOPE Application

Questions? We are here to help.

1.800.266.8043
scope@acog.org