(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) OB-GYN's at Mosaic say 2 out of their 10 expecting mothers warrant a high-risk pregnancy referral.
A referral that used to require a trip down to Kansas City to see a specialist. Mosaic is partnering with HCA Midwest to make life a little easier for these future moms.
Telecommunications is now taking out of the equations by the flip of a switch.
“In a very stressful situation where a mom is given some sort of news where she doesn’t know if that’s going to be bad news or something we can elay those fears pretty quickly. If we can do that right in her own ob’s office, that to me is the whole point of technology. The whole point of bringing a program like this to St. Joseph,”said Dr. Elizabeth Wickstrom, Midwest Maternal Fetal Medicine Physician.
So how does it work? Dr. Wickstrom pops up on the telerobot screen and provides a live consultation with her high-risk pregnancy mothers, face-to-face.
All without the patients having to take an hour long trip down south.
“Doesn’t have to stop and find childcare, and then find transportation and go somewhere she doesn’t even know where she’s going, meet a new doctor she isn’t familiar with and add all those anxieties on top of not understanding what’s going on with her baby,”said Dr. Wickstrom.
Not only convenient for patients, but medical professionals say it's a big money savor.
“On a weekly basis for about 8 weeks, that would be a lot of money saving,”said Dr. Sheena Drake, OB-GYN at Mosaic Life Care.
Obstetricians said this telerobot allows expecting mothers to hear immediate feedback on the health of their pregnancy and baby, giving a wash of relief to worried moms.
“Those tears of relief are the best part of what I do because they know then instead of waiting and waiting and wondering and worrying they know that things are alright and being able to offer that is a miracle,”said Dr. Wickstrom.
Medical professionals at Mosaic said they think telemedicine is the wave of the future and expect more specialty consultations to go viral.