Implementation of Obstetric Telehealth During COVID-19 and Beyond
Prenatal care, Telemedicine, Telehealth, Obstetrics, COVID-19
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to illustrate and discuss the impact the 2019 novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the delivery of obstetric care, including a discussion on the preexisting barriers, prenatal framework and need for transition to telehealth.
Description: The COVID-19 was first detected in China in December of 2019 and by March 2020 spread to the United States. As this virus has been associated with severe illness, it poses a threat to vulnerable populations—including pregnant women. The obstetric population already faces multiple barriers to receiving quality healthcare due to personal, environmental and economic barriers, now challenged with the additional risks of COVID-19 exposure and limited care in times much defined by social distancing.
Assessment: The current prenatal care framework requires patients to attend multiple in-office prenatal visits that can exponentially multiply depending on maternal and fetal comorbidities. To decrease the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 and limit exposure to patients, providers in Hillsborough County, Florida (and nationwide) are rapidly transitioning to telehealth. The use of a virtual care model allows providers to reduce in-person visits and incorporate virtual visits into the schedule of prenatal care.
Conclusion: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, implementation of telehealth and telehealth have become crucial to ensure the safe and effective delivery of obstetric care. This implementation is one that will continue to require attention to planning, procedures and processes, and thoughtful evaluation to ensure the sustainability of telehealth and telehealth post COVID-19 pandemic.
Citation / Publisher Attribution
Maternal and Child Health Journal, v. 24, issue 9, p. 1104-1110
Scholar Commons Citation
Fryer, Kimberly; Delgado, Arlin; Foti, Tara; Reid, Chinyere N.; and Marshall, Jennifer, "Implementation of Obstetric Telehealth During COVID-19 and Beyond" (2020). USF Libraries Florida COVID Research Collection Publications. 67.