Labor shortages are forcing hospitals across the country to suspend or shutter services, and L&D units and emergency departments are frequent victims of cutbacks. Maternity care deserts are widening, and mothers who were already struggling with access to care issues are bearing the brunt of strained resources.

For providers and staff in the trenches, patient-care is still the priority, but the rising patient to provider ratio makes it nearly impossible to deliver the kind of sympathetic, personal care that mothers in these frightening and unsure times need and expect. Even when hospital have been able to keep all their service lines open, they are moving staff around to cover gaps, closing beds, and even asking staff to work through sickness, leaving some to worry about compromising patient care. 

In this environment, providers need support as much as patients, and digital health tools like Babyscripts that deliver asynchronous care are the solution, driving patient engagement and adherence to quality measures while giving providers the assurance of connection and a safety net for their patients. 

Our customers are using Babyscripts to specifically target three main areas of concern during the current crisis:

1. Freeing up appointments in the prenatal period.

Though the concept of a reduced in-person prenatal visit schedule, supplemented with virtual care, has long been supported by research, providers have been slow to adopt it. But the pandemic forced OBs to be more flexible, with positive results.

On the strength of these changes and results, ACOG and the University of Michigan convened a panel to redesign prenatal care delivery recommendations, resulting in a reduced, hybridized prenatal care delivery structure -- including the recommendation that patients without medical conditions or pregnancy complications can select a less intense visit schedule, aided by digital health tools.   

[Read: ACOG Releases New Pregnancy Prenatal Care Recommendations]

Babyscripts' remote patient monitoring system, among other things, allows patients to track their blood pressure from home, saving them the necessity of going into the office (often at great cost or inconvenience) for a simple blood pressure check. Our comprehensive myBloodPressure solution is structured to monitor each patient appropriately dependent on their risk pathway, and immediately identifies the provider when a patient is at risk of complication, enabling triage and intervention. 

Patients have the security of knowing that their data is being communicated to their provider, while providers can trust that the fail-safes are in place to alert them to adverse events, freeing up space in their schedule to see more or higher-risk patients. 

2. Reducing emergency department utilization.

Our customers are using myBloodPressure in the postpartum period to address postpartum complications and adhere to the ACOG guidelines for hypertension safety bundle. Remote monitoring of a woman’s blood pressure in the six weeks following childbirth has been shown to dramatically decrease the diagnoses of postpartum hypertension, and preliminary data from Babyscripts client sites indicates that it also greatly reduces readmission rates. 

At a time when emergency departments are overcrowded or shut down altogether, keeping mothers out of the hospital, and secure at home with remote monitoring, is a crucial efficiency.

Babyscripts also delivers continued education through the postpartum period to keep mothers tuned into potential complications to their health, including the importance of continued blood pressure monitoring and management. 

3. Communicating with patients, maintaining connection, and driving engagement.

Over the past few years, it has become apparent how essential it is that marginalized mothers are heard and listened to by their doctors, and empowered to speak about their own health. Yet at a time when mothers feel more isolated than ever, providers are struggling for the bandwidth to deliver basic clinical care, let alone build personal relationships with their patients.

Our customers have used Babyscripts myJourney to maintain that personal connection to patients, delivering custom messaging through the campaign feature on the mobile app to keep them updated about changing protocols, with guidance for these unprecedented times. Messaging, reminders and notifications automatically delivered through the app keep patients on track with their care journey, and provider-approved resources give them a secure and trusted go-to for their questions.

These types of personal communication leave patients feeling seen and supported, rather than left to navigate their care pathway alone, while the automated nature frees up provider time and keeps worried phone calls to a minimum. 

We know that providing patients safe and convenient access to care is your top priority. The past two years have shown just how effective virtual obstetrical care solutions can be for maintaining patient safety and satisfaction, while alleviating the stress on overburdened care providers, and Babyscripts is here to support you. Contact your account representative or for more or download our COVID resource:

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