Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM
Background:Telehealth has been successfully implemented for the delivery of obstetrical care. However, little is known regarding the attitudes and acceptability of patients and providers in high risk obstetrics and if implementation improves access to care in non-rural settings. Objective:The study aims to: 1) Describe patient and provider attitudes toward telehealth for delivery of high risk obstetrical care in a large health care system with both urban and suburban settings. 2) Determine if implementation of a telehealth model improves patient adherence to scheduled appointments in this patient population.Study DesignTwo self-administered surveys were designed. The first survey was sent to all high-risk obstetrical patients who received a telehealth visit between March 1, 2020 and May 30, 2020. The second survey was designed for providers who participated in these visits. We also compared the attended, cancelled and no show visit rates before (March 1-May 30, 2019) and after (March 1-May 30, 2020) telehealth implementation, as well as telehealth versus in person visits in 2020. We reviewed scheduled high-risk prenatal care appointments, diabetes education sessions, and genetic counseling and Maternal- Fetal Medicine consultations. Results:A total of 91 patient surveys and 33 provider surveys were analyzed. Overall, 86.9% of patients were satisfied with the care they received and 78.3% would recommend telehealth visits to others. 87.8% of providers reported having a positive experience using telehealth, and 90.9% believed that telehealth improved patients' access to care. When comparing patient and provider preference regarding future obstetrical care after experiencing telehealth, 73.8% of patients desired a combination of in person and telehealth visits during their pregnancy. However, a significantly higher rate of providers preferred in-person visits (56% vs 23% respectively). When comparing visits between 2019 and 2020, there was a significantly lower rate of no-show appointments, patient-cancelled appointments, and patient same-day cancellations with the implementation of telehealth. There was also a significantly lower rate of patient-cancelled appointments, and patient same-day cancellations with those receiving telehealth visits compared to in person visits in 2020. Conclusion:Implementation of telehealth in high risk obstetrics has the potential to improve access to high risk obstetrical care, by reducing the rate of missed appointments. Both patients and providers surveyed expressed a high rate of satisfaction with telehealth visits and a desire to integrate telehealth into the traditional model of high risk obstetrical care.
Faculty; Northwell Resident
School of Medicine; Northwell Health
Obstetrics and Gynecology