Are you seeking to provide excellent care to your patients while also limiting their time in the hospital?
During the management of conditions like high-risk pregnancies, telehealth can help provide exceptional care that promotes comfort and privacy for patients while simultaneously freeing up hospital beds. Remote monitoring is an excellent way for providers to closely monitor patients at home, potentially lowering their risk of complications, and helping improve the chances of mothers giving birth to a healthy baby.
Traditional Management of High-Risk Pregnancy
During a “high-risk pregnancy,” an extra level of care is necessary to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Generally, high-risk pregnancies include the following characteristics:
- Pre-Existing Health Problems: There are existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or HIV infection.
- Weight: A mother’s weight is considered overweight. This puts her at risk of preeclampsia, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, stillbirth, neural tube defects, and cesarean delivery.
- Multiple Fetuses: When the mother is carrying multiple fetuses at once, such as twins or triplets. Often these pregnancies can result in preeclampsia, premature labor, and preterm labor.
- Maternal Age: A mother in her teens or over 35 years old has an increased risk of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension.
- Mental Health Issues: Mothers who suffer from depression, bipolar, or other mental health issues.
During a high-risk pregnancy, either the mother or the baby may experience complications. Telehealth and remote monitoring devices can help manage high-risk pregnancies remotely, especially for those living in rural areas.
High-Risk Pregnancy Monitoring At Home
Below are some of the benefits of the management of a high-risk pregnancy with telehealth.
Virtual Prenatal Care Visits
Using virtual prenatal care visits, physicians can monitor any mother’s complications during her high-risk pregnancy. In addition, the physician can determine if she will require hospital care through the mother’s description of her health conditions.
By using virtual prenatal care, mothers can also attend the doctor’s office less often. Prenatal care traditionally recommends upwards of 14 in-person visits during pregnancy.
Often, such a schedule takes a great deal of time to fit into a working or family schedule. In addition, many visits are filled with education, questions, and vitals measurements, which can be completed at home if the supplies are available.
At-Home Monitoring Devices
Remote patient monitoring devices allow patients to share updates on their vital signs and their environment from the convenience of their homes. For example, below, a patient can monitor these health conditions at home:
- Fetal Monitoring for High-Risk Pregnancy: The patient will use a handheld ultrasound device to monitor fetal heart rates. This can be done during the virtual appointment so that the doctor can monitor the heart rate themselves.
- Weight: A patient will use a bathroom scale to weigh themselves include it in their chart.
- Blood Pressure: A blood pressure device is given to the patient to check their BPL before an appointment. The patient will include the information in their charts for the doctor to review.
- Blood Sugar: Patients are given tools to help them monitor and keep track of their blood sugar levels while at home. There are both invasive and non-invasive methods for conducting these basic blood tests.
Monitors at home can reduce stress and chaos in healthcare for patients and enable specialists to work more effectively and efficiently. As part of telehealth, alerts can be sent to family members or medical providers to help reassure mothers who are considered high-risk during pregnancy.
Consults with Specialists
There are times when a mother going through a high-risk pregnancy will have to consult with other specialists with their physician. Below are the two most common consults for prenatal care:
- Genetic counselors: A pregnant woman may see a genetic counselor if certain genetic conditions run in their family. The specialists will help the mother interpret the results and make decisions regarding the pregnancy.
- Maternal-fetal medicine: OBGYN’s who specialize within this field went through extra training to provide additional care to women during a high-risk pregnancy.
The problem is that some mothers may not attend an appointment with specialists due to living in a rural area. Telehealth can provide a live-video teleconference for mothers to connect with maternal-fetal medicine specialists.
Moreover, telehealth consults enable primary care providers to communicate with fetal medicine specialists in rural areas, allowing for more accurate diagnosis and better treatment planning.
Increased Comfort and Privacy
People who meet the high-risk pregnancy criteria are advised to stay in bed more than those who don’t. By using telehealth, the need for patients to drive long distances to the doctor’s office and wait in a waiting room when sick can be reduced.
A virtual visit is more flexible to fit into someone’s busy schedule. According to their schedule, telemedicine may allow them to avoid taking time off work or arranging child care.
Telemedicine providers can implement safeguards so that their technology complies with HIPAA’s strict standards to protect patient information. Patients and providers must follow strict guidelines to safeguard and secure certain personal information.
Improve Management of High-Risk Pregnancy With Home Monitoring
Our understanding of how technology and patient care are interconnected enables us to bridge the gap between the two. Allow Trapollo to provide high-risk pregnancy home monitoring to your patients to help enhance the quality of care and patient satisfaction.
If you’re ready to develop a partnership in telehealth and high-risk pregnancy, contact us today!