March 14 – 20th this year is Patient Safety Awareness Week. We believe that safe patient outcome is of utmost importance. For patients who are seeking infertility treatment, here is a short list of what to look for to ensure you are getting care that puts safety first:
1) Work with a fertility specialist with the right training and experience. Most fertility clinics have a physician that focuses on the female side of fertility, also known as a reproductive endocrinologist, who should be board certified or board eligible. For patients where a male factor may be involved working with a male fertility specialist also known as a reproductive urologist, who has completed an accredited fellowship in male fertility, would be important.
2) For those working with a fertility clinic that has an in-house lab for embryology, andrology and IVF, review the licensing and accreditation. Check to see if the center’s laboratory has membership in organizations that establishes requirements and guidelines of how labs should be run. Here are a few:
- Society for Reproductive Technology (SART)
- College of Pathologists (CAP)
- Federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA)
3) With the Covid-19 pandemic still ongoing, it is important to provide care in the safest manner possible that safeguards the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and the community. Measures in place should include temperature check, symptom screening, social distancing, and disinfecting. Additionally, virtual appointments should be offered where in-clinic visits are not required.