Maternal Fetal Medicine Physician Use of Telehealth During Covid-19
October 26, 11:40 am – 12:30 pm PDT
The COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the transition to telehealth in obstetric care to provide safe and continuous care. Multiple factors are associated with uptake and amount of telehealth use in maternity care. Yet studies performing multivariable modeling are scarce, raising many questions about the actual drivers of telehealth use among providers and consumers.
We drew data from the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM) Telehealth Survey administered online to SMFM members in December 2020. Maternal fetal medicine clinicians provide care to high-risk patients and are key to reducing maternal mortality. We assessed the extent of practicing clinicians’ use of live video visits. Using a conceptual framework we determined the extent of use and identified the predisposing and enabling variables contributing to provider use. We found that 88% of clinicians reported any live video use, a jump from 29% pre-pandemic. Among the users, 44% were high users of live video visits. In this talk, we examine the contributing factors to provider use and its implications for equitable maternity care. Given widespread clinician satisfaction and interest in continuing the use of telehealth after the pandemic is relaxed, we discuss the opportunities for developing a hybrid model of prenatal and postnatal care.
Sylvia Guendelman is the Founder and Advisory Committee Chair of the Wallace Center for Maternal Child and Adolescent Health and Professor Emerita at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Her current research focuses on assessing pregnant women and mothers’ engagement with digital health technology and analyzing Google search queries to understand population health concerns. She has published widely on immigrant health, health disparities and the health of working women.