In late 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris issued a nationwide Call to Action to help improve health outcomes for parents and infants in the United States. Get Well is committed to helping to close the gap in maternal health with digital technology, and were recently selected to present our work at the NIH: Innovative Approaches to Improve Maternal Health Workshop.
In recognition of Mother’s Day and the many mothers and babies impacted by patient engagement each day, we wanted to share how we’re doing our part to support mothers across their care journeys, whatever those may look like.
Taking a closer look at maternal health
Every day, all across the world, mothers and babies are in need of healthcare services — inpatient care, social services and resources, and long-term care for a postpartum condition to name just a few. However, women in the United States are more likely to die from childbirth than women living in other developed countries, which is why preventing pregnancy complications and maternal deaths and improving women’s health before, during, and after pregnancy is a goal under Healthy People 2030.
Too often, this population is overlooked. Maternal mortality rates in the United States are 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, with wide gaps between racial and ethnic groups. Black women, for example, are three times more likely to die of complications from childbirth than white women. Non-clinical resources — food banks, transportation, mental health and substance abuse referrals — can be out of reach for many mothers, with scarcity cutting across all races, ethnicities, ages, and income levels.
But providing needed support and services at the right time can make a significant difference in the maternity care experience. In fact, 60% of maternal deaths are preventable and can be partially addressed through social services and care coordination. Let’s take a closer look.
Working toward health equity
In response to the growing maternal health crisis, Get Well developed a solution that organizes resources into a digital journey for patients. Our Maternal Health Equity program:
- Identifies appropriate times during a birthing person’s pre- and postpartum experience to provide health education
- Presents information via SMS text message
- Screens for resource needs related to social determinants of health (SDOH), mental health, breastfeeding, and more
And the results are proving out: Our Maternal Health Equity program has seen engagement rates of 75.4% (overall), 72.6% (Black), 82.5% (Hispanic), and 77.5% (on Medicaid). Of those who completed an SDOH screen, 25.4% were found to have at least one need, with food and housing being the most requested resources. Fifty-nine percent and 64% of participants answered post-delivery breastfeeding and mental health texts, respectively; out of those, 9.6% requested breastfeeding resources and 7.3% requested mental health resources.
Supporting mothers and babies with GetWell Navigate and GetWell Loop
GetWell Navigate, our virtual navigation solution, uses a blend of technology and human services to identify barriers to care at the individual level, and then helps personalize that support so berthing people are getting connected to the right healthcare and community resources to address their own needs.
These human and digital touchpoints make all patients feel seen and heard. “It’s great that now I have a person I can call with all my questions,” one first-time mother in California stated. Another new mother agreed, saying that “From the phone calls prior to my surgery, and postpartum follow-up texts, it made me feel so special.”
GetWell Loop also offers support and engagement for mothers beyond the four walls of the hospital. From a prenatal Loop care plan meant to prepare and set expectations for birth to a post-delivery Loop that aids in comprehension, satisfaction, and compliance, GetWell Loop’s maternal offerings bookend an inpatient stay, providing reassurance to mothers every step of the way.
The 32-week long prenatal Loop care plan introduces what patients can expect during each trimester — such as physical changes and fetal growth and development — and offers reminders for things like follow-up care and nutrition needs. It also offers information on birth planning, pain management, and more, as well as postpartum resources and guidance on newborn care.
The support continues after a mother is discharged, with four different care plans designed to speak to the immediate needs of both mother and baby. Covering topics like Cesarean section, vaginal delivery, and pre-eclampsia, these care plans convey important information about postpartum medical, emotional, and follow-up care.
These Loop care plans encourage and support new moms at the time when they need it most, on a device that is familiar, with plain language and a friendly tone.
The bottom line
There’s no better time than Mother’s Day to assess the work that’s being done to support mothers and babies and focus on what’s really important: ensuring the care they get is top notch and that any outcomes are long lasting.
Get Well is committed to supporting maternal populations before, during, and after their hospital stays, making sure that at every step of the way, they feel cared for, heard, and valued. The health and well-being of mothers, infants, and children helps determine the health of the next generation, making efforts to improve maternal care essential for today’s maternal patients and for the ones yet to come.