Smoke from Canadian wildfires engulfed parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States last week, and continues to affect air quality and present serious health concerns to residents as the fires rage on.
Wildfire smoke is a complex mixture of gasses, particles, and water vapor containing multiple pollutants that can get into the lungs and bloodstream, and is particularly harmful to those with still developing lungs (1).The situation is especially urgent for pregnant women, who face risks of complications related to asthma from air pollutants, such as preeclampsia. Air pollution has also been linked to low birth weight, preterm birth, and autism in infants, as well as fertility problems in both men and women (2).
In moments of crisis like these, when risk levels can change as quickly as the wind, Babyscripts provides a trusted means of communicating real-time information to patients about evolving recommendations and advisories, as well as actionable tips and guidance for maternity patients.
In response to emergency alerts affecting multiple client sites last week, our Customer Support team quickly compiled a resource in the myJourney app with concise and clear information about the emerging situation, including guidance around risk, symptoms, and potential side effects, and links to trusted resources.
They also disseminated info to over 30,000 patients across 28 customer groups in affected areas through email and SMS push notifications. The campaign saw a 60% open rate (compared to an average 48-59% open rate of campaigns to date), confirming how much our patients value access to real time information from a trusted provider.
HOW OUR CUSTOMERS USED Babyscripts
Some customer sites leveraged Babyscripts to push out custom campaigns, including practice-specific information as well as safety recommendations, advising patients on how to reschedule their in-person appointments and including advisories from local government health agencies.
SBH Health System in the Bronx, including St. Barnabas Hospital, quickly rolled out a campaign through Babyscripts in response to the air quality alert issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and State Department of Health the morning of June 7. The air quality index continued to climb after the campaign was released, reaching 484 that afternoon (the scale tops out at 500).
“The ability to use Babyscripts for real time updates has been invaluable in times of crisis, particularly in evolving situations when recommendations and practice information are continuously being updated in response to new information,” said Dr. Mark Rosing, Chair of Obstetrics at SBH Health System. “We work with many vulnerable populations, and we pride ourselves in giving our patients the best in care, regardless of their resources. Babyscripts is a critical part of our commitment to accessible and equitable care.”
SBH Health has made use of Babyscripts’ campaign feature in the past to push out information on heat waves and the flu, as well as update patients on Covid. Other customers have used the feature to send out advisories on hurricane and flood responses, and other emergency situations such as formula recalls and shortages.
Text, email, and push notifications help providers keep patients engaged even when not seeing them as often, a critical benefit for patients who struggle with access to care. Especially in times of uncertainty, access to accurate information is key for reducing anxiety and panic, often exacerbated by scrolling conflicting information on the internet. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable because they’re in a unique situation that complicates their risk.
Mobile health gives providers the ability to communicate to these patients in real-time and answer their questions, easing anxieties and providing them access to timely info to support the best care for their pregnancy.