Many of us feel a sense of heightened anxiety about COVID-19—and that’s especially true for expecting moms. There’s still a lot that we don’t know about how the new coronavirus affects pregnant women and their babies, but the CDC recommends that they stay home if possible to avoid being exposed. Healthcare providers are helping by providing virtual prenatal care using Epic.
At Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, moms with low-risk pregnancies could already participate in the OB Nest program to see a doctor virtually through MyChart for some of their routine OB visits. Health systems including Michigan Medicine and Jefferson Health in Philadelphia have started similar programs, so patients need to come in only a few times throughout pregnancy for ultrasounds or lab tests.
At organizations including the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, patients can also use MyChart Care Companion’s step-by-step pregnancy care plan developed by Mayo Clinic clinical experts to track their pregnancies from home and complete regular tasks, like recording how they’re feeling. If they’re experiencing symptoms like nausea or want to learn about how their pregnancy is progressing, they can see short videos or articles. They can also message a doctor with questions.
To keep a close eye on conditions like hypertension while patients are at home, Parkland in Dallas and Penn Medicine in Philadelphia sent blood pressure home-monitoring devices to expecting moms. The patients can send regular readings to their providers through MyChart. On May 4th, Epic released new care plans in MyChart Care Companion specifically for hypertensive pregnancies and gestational diabetes. Moms see all their Care Companion tasks in one view on their phones or tablets, so they’ll be able to easily manage both those conditions and regular pregnancy milestones.
Epic community members can learn more about strategies for reducing COVID-19 risk for pregnant patients in the Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) With Epic white paper, which is updated regularly with recommended build and workflows.