As a hospital administrator, you know that, as a major surgery, C-sections represent a potential minefield for health and malpractice issues. You want all OB-GYN patients who need or request a C-section for legitimate medical reasons to receive this important option immediately and safely, first and foremost.

However, minimizing risk for your physicians and facility is an important consideration, too. The good news: research has looked at these concerns and has great guidance to offer.

Use this science-driven info to ensure your patients and hospital staff do the right thing every time:

Determine exactly what your patients want.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by a team including Robert Silver, MD, found that inducing labor at 39 weeks can reduce the need for C-sections, and is equally as safe as the process of spontaneous labor.

Yet, you must determine from extensive conversation whether this, or any other childbirth option, is what your patients are comfortable with. Your doctors and nurses should engage patients in friendly, open dialogue to determine this. Individual patient safety is paramount, so the best option is always chosen.

Don't try to cut costs in any way.

Research has shownv that non-indicated induction of labor and C-sections occurs faster at rural hospitals than at hospitals located elsewhere, often on Medicaid patients. It's your first job to ensure patient safety and proper procedure rather than move patients on too quickly.

Always make sure your facility is following evidence-based guidelines to determine whether a C-section is appropriate and not done too hastily.

Perfect infection control.

A recent study led by Marian Knight at the University of Oxford found that giving just one antibiotic after assisted childbirth can halve the rate of maternal infection, including septic infections.

Meet with your physicians regularly to discuss drug research and innovation. Also, see what fits well in terms of C-section guidelines and review infection control procedures regularly.

Be thorough regarding procedures.

Research from the University of Southern California, Harvard University, and Stanford University found that when a physician spends more on procedures, malpractice rates lower, as do C-section rates.

Make sure your doctors are stressing the importance of safe, essential testing and procedures to your hospital's mothers-to-be so patients understand that these actions can pave the way for a safe delivery down the line.

Maintain scrupulous reporting, charting and notes.

Make sure your supervisors do regular reviews to ensure that all documentation of care and procedures is clear, complete and accurate. Address concerns, questions or problems immediately, honestly and transparently: your patients and staff deserve your scrupulous attention, and overall outcomes will greatly benefit.