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Experience of a telehealth and education program with maternal and perinatal outcomes in a low-resource region in Colombia

HumanInsight Experience of a telehealth and education program with maternal and perinatal outcomes in a low-resource region in Colombia

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2022 Jul 29;22(1):604. doi: 10.1186/s12884-022-04935-1.


INTRODUCTION: Maternal morbidity and mortality rates associated with perinatal care remain a significant public health concern. Rural populations from low and middle-income countries have multiple barriers to access that contribute to a lack of adherence to prenatal care, and high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. An intervention model based on telehealth and education was implemented between a tertiary high complex care hospital and a second-level hospital from a limited source region.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to identify an association in maternal and perinatal care quality indicators after implementing a model based on telehealth and education for patients with obstetric emergencies between two hospitals in a southwestern region of Colombia.

METHODS: We conducted an ecological study between 2017 and 2019 to compare before and after obstetric emergency care through telemedicine from a secondary care center (Hospital Francisco de Paula Santander-HFPS) to the referral center (Fundación Valle del Lili-FVL). The intervention included verification visits to determine the installed capacity of care, a concerted improvement plan, and on-site educational training modules in obstetric and perinatal care.

RESULTS: There were 102 and 148 patients treated before and after telemedicine implementation respectively. Clinical indicators after model implementation showed a reduction in perinatal mortality of 29%. In addition, a reduction in the need for transfusion of blood products due to postpartum hemorrhage was observed as well as the rate of eclampsia.

CONCLUSIONS: Implementing a model based on telehealth and education between secondary and tertiary care centers allowed the strengthening of the security of care in obstetric emergencies and had a positive effect on perinatal mortality.

PMID:35906534 | DOI:10.1186/s12884-022-04935-1

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