Originally published 3/6/2020
As Novel Coronavirus 2019 spreads in the US, the need to communicate accurate, up-to-date information to patients is a top priority for providers.
At times of crisis like this, access to accurate information is key for reducing anxiety and panic. There’s a lot of conflicting information floating around on the internet, and pregnant women and new moms are especially vulnerable because they’re in a unique situation that complicates their normal responses to things like virus-protection. Simple intuitive responses like wiping down surfaces with Lysol or using hand sanitizer may raise questions for pregnant women about safety and alternative solutions.
At Babyscripts, we know that communication is essential for better care. In particular, we believe that the real-time nature of our platform meets critical patient needs for timely and relevant guidance as a solution against an environment overflowing with unreliable information.
With the spread of coronavirus, we know that we’re in a unique position to help providers communicate critical information to their patients in real-time, answering their questions and providing them the security and clarity that they need.
What We Did
We worked with our partners at GW-MFA to compile a new resource complete with clear and concise recommendations and references to provide information on the virus and guidance on how to prevent its spread, and embedded it in the mobile app for immediate patient access.
Additionally, we contacted the all of the health system partners in the Babyscripts network — as well as payer partners and innovation leaders — to let them know that we would be adding a general resource into the app about coronavirus, to ensure that all patients have access to timely and relevant information around current advisories and staying healthy while pregnant.
The resource — labeled “Tips From Your Healthcare Provider: Coronavirus” — contains answers to commonly asked questions and helpful information about the virus, including the following:
- How to identify symptoms of the coronavirus
- What to expect after delivery if you are diagnosed with coronavirus
- Information about breastfeeding in the event of diagnosis
- Links to trusted resources for more information on the virus
Most importantly, the resource is customizable by practice and can be modified at any time by the provider, to fit the dynamic nature of the virus and to ensure that patients are receiving the most up-to-date and relevant information.
How We Did It
We used two mechanisms to communicate this information out to patients as quickly as possible:
Push Notifications: We knew from prior experience that push notifications are key to engaging users in real-time. So, we sent a push notification through our platform to both iOS and Android users.
Email: For those patients who do not have push notifications enabled on their smartphone, we made sure that they were still notified about our new resource as quickly as possible through an email campaign. Emails are one way we communicate regularly with our patients; they receive email updates on their pregnancy every week.
The open rate for our new resource was 98% — a statistic that confirms how closely mothers are monitoring the virus and how much they value trusted resources from their provider.
“When I saw the email notification with the FAQs come through on the virus, I was relieved because until I received the notification through Babyscripts, I didn’t know whether I should be concerned,” said Miki Smith, a pregnant patient at GW-MFA who is in her second trimester. “There is a lot of misinformation out there. Given the evolving situation, it was helpful to get a consolidated position from my medical group: here is what to do and here is the actual risk. I could have gone to the CDC website and searched, but it felt better to get something from the medical team that I’m already getting care from.”
As we learn more about the virus and specific guidelines for pregnancy and new moms, we’ll be updating the resource to reflect those new findings, as well as send additional communication to those moms that need it and make sure that each mother is getting the answers to all of their questions.
The custom campaign limits the opportunity for disinformation, giving patients access to secure and accurate information directly from their trusted care provider in real-time. With new outbreaks and fresh information around the virus presenting every day, a dynamic and secure vehicle for communicating new advisories immediately to pregnant patients has proven essential.