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About the Maternal Fetal Triage Index
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In obstetric triage, the initial, brief nursing assessment of the woman and fetus has traditionally been done on a first-come, first-served basis. One of the problems with this approach is that it does not efficiently identify those women who need urgent or immediate care.


AWHONN has developed the Maternal Fetal Triage Index (MFTI), a tool that provides a standardized approach to obstetric triage. The MFTI is a five-level obstetric acuity tool for nurses to use when they triage a woman presenting for care to a birth unit in order to prioritize the woman's urgency for provider evaluation. It is the first obstetric acuity tool developed by a professional society for use across the United States. 


MFTI Research


AWHONN's development of the MFTI is described in two articles available in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN).



MFTI Video


AWHONN developed a short video to give you a flavor of what the Maternal Fetal Triage Index is all about.  



MFTI Educational Course


The Maternal Fetal Triage Index (MFTI) educational course educates perinatal nurses about obstetric triage basics—what triage means in obstetrics, what the nurses’ role is, and how a systematic approach can be beneficial to improve the process of triage and outcomes. This online interactive learning introduces AWHONN’s new Maternal Fetal Triage Index, a five-level acuity classification index, describing how it is used to prioritize a woman’s urgency for provider evaluation. Clinical cases throughout the course and in the posttest assist the nurse to apply the concepts presented to prioritize the cases. Learn more about the Maternal Fetal Triage Index (MFTI) Education Course.



Using the MFTI at your Hospital


The MFTI is part of AWHONN’s online education course.   AWHONN recommends all nurses performing triage complete this course as part of implementing the MFTI.  When nurses understand the importance of triage as a nursing role and the value of using an acuity classification tool, the MFTI can be optimally used with all pregnant women presenting for triage.  Applying the MFTI acuity tool systematically can potentially reduce errors and improve the quality of the care nurses provide in clinical settings.


MFTI Implementation Communities


AWHONN is committed to assisting hospital leaders in the implementation of key evidence-based initiatives.  As facilitating change can be difficult, AWHONN has created MFTI Implementation Communities for hospital leaders to interact with AWHONN staff and other participating members to best support this change effort.  Implementation Communities include:

  • Purchase of up to 50 seats for online education
  • Participation in three 90 minute conference calls to support implementation and integration of the MFTI acuity tool into the electronic medical record.
  • Learning from and sharing successes and challenges with other members of the Community to identify best practices to implementation of the MFTI in birth units. 

Registration for the current MFTI Implementation Community (fall 2016) is now closed due to high demand. If you are interested in participating in a future Implementation Community, please email


MFTI Testimonials


“Having the evidence based MFTI algorithm and education from AWHONN empowered staff to do triage differently. We really honed in on the triage of the patient within 10 minutes which led to assessing vitals and FHT's prior to having the patient change clothes and use the bathroom---this was very different but it worked! Staff were engaged and excited because we were part of the pilot and thus on the cutting edge for OB triage. They also saw how much faster we could assess patients using this model and acknowledged the improved workflow.”


-       Project Leader from the MFTI Implementation Community


“I love the MFTI. It really prompts you to be aware of what priority your patients are.”


“The MFTI is great and easy to use!”


“I used to have difficulty trying to determine who needed my attention first.”


“I really like the vital signs clearly listed as part of the MFTI. It really helps in our timely treatment of patients with hypertensive emergency.”


-      Nurses who implemented the MFTI at their hospital


MFTI Permissions


Please contact our AWHONN Permissions for inquiries related to distribution of the MFTI at your facility.  Examples of situations requiring permission to reproduce, duplicate or post the MFTI online include, but are not limited to:

  • Including the MFTI in your triage policy
  • Integrating the MFTI into your electronic medical record
  • Using an image of the MFTI as part of a presentation  


Other MFTI Resources


Additional Questions?


Currently AWHONN is seeking hospital-based nurse champions for our implementation community who agree to: 
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Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

AWHONN is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP580. Accredited status does not imply endorsement by AWHONN or the American Nurses Credentialing Center of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with educational activities.

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