Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/08/2020 --If you're pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have questions about your prenatal clinic visits and staying healthy. You don't want to miss these visits, but wonder if they could expose you to risk of infection?
To help you and other patients stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Intermountain Healthcare has modified some of the OB prenatal appointments to include video visits in addition to your in-person visits if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy. This visit schedule is based on national recommendations.
Angela Anderson, certified nurse midwife with Intermountain Healthcare, explained how these virtual visits work.
"Mothers, their families and the providers who care for them are excited about this," said Anderson. This program has been in place for over a year at the nurse midwife clinic at Intermountain Medical Center. It provides a safe and convenient platform for remote prenatal visits at specific intervals during an uncomplicated delivery using scheduled video.
Anderson said that in general, in-person visits are still recommended for your initial visit. "Your provider will want to build a relationship with you. You will develop your own pregnancy plan, and this is great time to talk with your provider and ask if telehealth prenatal visits are right for you." Anderson said as long as you have no serious or chronic conditions that put you at higher risk during your pregnancy, you'll probably be able to use telehealth prenatal visits.
Typically, there are visits that need to be done in office: your 20-week ultrasound; labs done at 28 weeks; and appointments after 36 weeks. During the in-person visits, a provider will perform a physical exam, obtain necessary labs and measurements, etc. Check with your provider to find out what is recommended for your specific situation.
"Telehealth visits are an excellent option during the COVID-19 pandemic as you can interact with your provider through video," said Anderson. "Phone appointments are also available if you prefer. Check with your provider about the remote services they offer."
Video visits are a safe alternative for uncomplicated pregnancies and have been studied and shown to be successful at other institutions in the U.S. If you do wish to do your visit via telehealth, some of the technology you may need would include an iPad, tablet, smartphone, or computer that is video enabled. For Intermountain visits, you will also need an app such as Connect Care, Google Duo, WebEx, Facetime, etc.
"As a provider, I also like scheduled video visits," said Anderson. "At home visits offer more actual face time with the patient, allowing for more time to talk and build that relationship of trust."
For more information about home prenatal visits go to intermountainhealthcare.org.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see Intermountain Healthcare or the Intermountain Healthcare Blog.