Right care, right time: Building a data-driven care system for pregnancy

Bonnie Zell
Chief Medical Officer
at Delfina
min read

In order to achieve the best pregnancy outcomes, the practice of evidence-based medicine is paramount. But even with rigorous guidelines from organizations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), emerging technological capabilities, and traditional data gathering methods, the care system manifests in glaring gaps for many. In order to have an effective evidence-based care model, patients and providers at every level need to be engaged. Delfina’s system helps facilitate engagement on both the patient and provider side, augmenting care for each clinical practice site. Delfina Care closes gaps in the traditional care model, enabling providers to make more accurate and timely recommendations for safer, healthier pregnancies. 

Even OBGYNs who are closely following the ACOG guidelines for when to administer interventions often have patients who are falling through the cracks. With limited EHR data and infrequent provider visits, it is difficult to get a clear picture of every patient’s experience and status. Without a comprehensive understanding of our patients’ risk level, we as physicians can’t properly assess when and how to administer interventions for greatest impact. 

With Delfina, providers get more information at a higher frequency about their patients’ pregnancy journeys. Delfina promotes patient engagement in numerous ways: we offer a user-friendly interface where patients can easily provide their daily symptoms for ongoing assessment and supportive management. If patients with high-risk pregnancies are unsure of whether or not their symptoms warrant a visit to their OBGYN, they can turn to in-app resources like their Delfina Guide to get legitimate, trustworthy information on their own time. Within existing care models, patients with conditions like gestational diabetes or high blood pressure would have to schedule a separate appointment to coordinate management for their conditions (alongside regular prenatal visits, work, and potentially childcare). Instead, patients using Delfina Care can talk to in-app nutritionists, and are sent monitoring technology like blood pressure cuffs and glucometers to track their symptoms from the comfort of their own home. 

Delfina Care’s readily available patient data can help us as OBGYN clinicians evaluate and adapt our recommendations. In addition to continually getting information on a patient’s symptoms, Delfina Care also allows providers to gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness and uptake of certain interventions. Often, the percentage of patients with high-risk pregnancies who actually follow the recommendations is much lower than we as physicians would want. When a patient only has moderate risk, this number dips even lower–and there will always be patients who, for many reasons, decide not to follow provider recommendations at all. 

Our Delfina Guides play a key role in closing the trust gap with patients, encouraging adherence to evidence-based provider recommendations. With the benefit of consistent data from a platform like Delfina Care, it’s easier to follow along with a patient’s care schedule. This data allows us as providers to adapt recommendations to match what our patients are able to genuinely incorporate into their daily lives, and make practical adjustments for future cases. 

As providers, we are unlikely to achieve perfect patient adherence to recommendations, perfect daily symptom documentation, or perfect risk assessment. But in our pursuit of evidence-based care, we can benefit from technological interventions that work to close these gaps in the traditional care system and create stronger provider-patient relationships. Delfina Care prioritizes engagement for both patients and providers in order to achieve better pregnancy outcomes. To my fellow providers interested in working with us to close the gap for our patients, we welcome you to join our growing network.

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