Am J Perinatol 2019; 36(07): 751-758
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1675158
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Implementation and Impact of a Maternal–Fetal Medicine Telemedicine Program

Cassandra Leighton
1  Health Policy Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
,
Molly Conroy
2  Department of General Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah
,
Andrew Bilderback
3  Wolff Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
,
Wendy Kalocay
4  Women's Telehealth Services, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
,
James K. Henderson
3  Wolff Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
,
Hyagriv N. Simhan
5  Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

09 November 2017

05 September 2018

Publication Date:
31 October 2018 (online)

Abstract

Objective The increase in maternal morbidity has resulted in higher need for maternal–fetal medicine (MFM) subspecialty care. To meet the rising demand, particularly in rural areas, the use of MFM telemedicine services has increased. This study describes the structure, implementation, and patient and child health outcomes associated with a large health system's MFM telemedicine program.

Study Design Observational electronic health record data are used to compare maternal and childbirth outcomes between patients receiving care via telemedicine or in-person visits through regression analysis. Average patient time and resources saved are calculated, and patient satisfaction scores are reported.

Results The telemedicine patients experienced similar outcomes to the in-person group, indicating that MFM telemedicine can serve as an effective substitute for in-person care. MFM telemedicine patients saved $90.28 per consult in travel and work-related expenses. An overwhelming majority of MFM telemedicine patients were satisfied with their visit and indicated that they would be interested in receiving care via telemedicine in the future.

Conclusion The results indicate that the patients may benefit financially and experience similar outcomes when telemedicine programs are appropriately designed to eliminate access barriers and provide high-quality care.