With the emergence of positive COVID-19 cases in infants over the past several months, how should the care manager support expecting and newly delivered moms in their efforts to keep themselves and their babies safe from COVID-19? A two-pronged approach that allows the mom to voice her concerns and fears while arming her and her household with the information they need to protect the newest member of the family could be a great approach.
According to a recent Mayo Clinic article, children under 2 appear to be at higher risk of severe illness with COVID 19 than school-age and adolescent children. Research suggests this is likely due to their immature immune systems and smaller respiratory airways in the lungs. These factors make babies more susceptible to complications, such as difficulty breathing when contracting respiratory viruses. Naturally this explains why moms may be justified in expressing heightened concern regarding their pre- and postnatal care.
Care Managers should explain what pregnant women should expect during labor and delivery. Include in the consultation a review of the hospital’s infection-control practices to prevent the spread of the virus. Note that masks are required for all staff and patients, and visits are severely restricted throughout the hospital to prevent exposure to the virus. A robust data collection and analysis platform can assist care managers in mitigating the possibility of exposure for expectant and new mothers and their newborns. For instance, Vital Data Technology uses first- and third-party data to make available lists of COVID-19 patients who live with pregnant or newly delivered mothers. This enables care managers and clinicians to prioritize outreach to ensure babies and moms most at risk receive the added specialized care and education they need to cope with their situation.
After the baby goes home, educate parents on the importance of well-child visits during the COVID crisis. Despite fear, it is important to bring the baby in for all scheduled visits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping well-child visit appointments and immunizations on schedule for all infants so they can receive timely immunizations that are important for their continuing overall health and well-being. This is especially important during this pandemic.
Contact Vital Data Technology to learn how sophisticated data analysis can improve your health plan’s decisions, outreach, and member outcomes.
Laura Barnett, BSN, RN, CDE
Vice President Client Partnerships
Laura is the Vice President of Client Partnerships at Vital Data Technology and product owner of Affinitē PlanLink. In this role, Laura oversees all aspects of the customer life-cycle, serving as an ambassador for all clients and partners to ensure a world-class customer experience. With her career spanning over 20 years in healthcare ranging from nursing leadership, medical device sales, and healthcare information technology account development, and partner management, her clinically-founded expertise ensures her astute alignment with health plan goals.
Laura is nearing completion of her Masters of Health System Information Management from Texas Women’s University, and she holds her BSN, Nursing from The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.