Throughout the pandemic, patient safety and security was a top concern as providers looked for ways to support patient health despite the need to limit in-person visits. Now labor shortages and staff burnout are again placing patient safety in jeopardy.
Pregnant and postpartum patients are particularly at-risk, as some hospitals have suspended maternity services or permanently cut them in order to allocate strained resources to other areas. As a population that is already prone to anxiety and concerns about safety, it's especially important that pregnant women feel empowered and secure in their healthcare. Digital tools can provide a solution.
Our health system and payer clients have used Babyscripts to support their pregnant and postpartum patients and members, providing a digital safety net at a time when they are in danger of falling through the cracks. As the CEO of one payer partner explained,
Digital tools have proven to help our members manage their health, especially those facing social and economic barriers to care.”
The danger is more acute for minority and low-income women, as recent data around maternal mortality rates during the pandemic show that statistics are still disproportionately affecting black mothers. One of our providers shared this as a motivation for using Babyscripts:
One of my favorite points of feedback about Babyscripts was from an African American mother who told us that the Babyscripts app made her feel safer. Anything we can do to make women of color feel safer in the birthing process is a win in my book."
With care providers less accessible than formerly, it is imperative that women feel assured of the accuracy of the resources available to them, that they learn to track vital data and be educated on what that data means, and that they be secure in the knowledge that their provider will be available to them and intervene in the event of an emergency. The goal of using Babyscripts Virtual Maternity Care is to empower pregnant and postpartum patients with this knowledge.
Patient engagement and satisfaction with Babyscripts remained strong through the pandemic, and a recurring theme in patient feedback is the peace of mind that our patient users feel using the solution:
"Being in the remote monitoring program during COVID has given me peace of mind that I’m not taking unnecessary risks going into the office. It’s also allowed me to quarantine safely away from the city."
"I love knowing what my BP is and being able to keep a check on it at home. Knowing all of the info is going to my doctor too is an added peace of mind."
For mothers struggling with accessibility, fearing to come into the office because of the pandemic, or simply not being able to make an appointment because of the lack of staff resources, the ability to check their levels from home is a major benefit and makes them feel in control:
"It has given me peace of mind every week, during a time like Covid when I feel I might not be getting as much in person medical attention as I usually would. It's also just been a great way to monitor my progress myself."
"It was such a convenience and gave me peace of mind. It helped my provider address some things I called in about and gave a more clear picture of what was going on, without me needing to find childcare during the time of COVID for every little thing that might come up."
"My doctor was able to postpone seeing me in the clinic because I use Babyscripts to document the data she needs to monitor (blood pressure and weight). If I didn't use Babyscripts, she would have me come in more frequently.
Knowing that data is communicated back to the provider has a strong positive impact on patients, especially for those who are at risk, or have previous experience with high-risk pregnancies:
"I have a high risk pregnancy and was with a different OBGYN at the beginning of my pregnancy. That provider simply told me to check my blood pressure, but didn't have any way of me reporting the numbers back to her. Babyscripts provides peace of mind that if there is something wrong with my numbers, someone will act."
"I have struggled with my blood pressure for years because of my PCOS. So when I got pregnant, my anxiety was through the roof at the risk of hurting my baby because of my blood pressure. But with the [blood pressure cuff] and Babyscripts, the peace of mind is strong with my doctors being able to track it with me while I'm home."
"In my second pregnancy, I had gestational hypertension after 30 weeks, caught at an appointment. Because of Covid, it had been 9 weeks since my last appointment. Who knows when it really started? [With this pregnancy], monitoring myself starting in the first trimester gives me peace of mind that if it starts again we will catch it right away."
Labor and staffing shortages are not going away. Demographic challenges that existed before the pandemic have only worsened. We are facing down a challenging future for healthcare, and care providers are in need of creative ways to extend their reach and allow patients to safely and effectively participate in their own healthcare. Babyscripts Virtual Maternity Care delivers a solution for better and safer health that provides these benefits, without compromising outcomes or the patient/provider relationship.