New app screens partners for 20-week scans and post-delivery visits at Cork University Maternity Hospital

New app screens partners for 20-week scans and post-delivery visits at Cork University Maternity Hospital

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, maternity hospitals were faced with many challenges including the scheduling of outpatient appointments and restrictions on partners accompanying expectant mothers.

NEW technology at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) has helped to deliver a solution to allow partners to attend 20-week anatomy scans and make post-delivery visits.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, maternity hospitals were faced with many challenges including the scheduling of outpatient appointments and restrictions on partners accompanying expectant mothers.

Working together with Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) and CUMH, Yellow Schedule created a solution for the maternity hospital.

Targeted design solutions were tailored to meet the specific requirements which included bottlenecks related to the flow of patients, the resource burden of operating a manual system, the mental wellbeing of patients and importantly during the pandemic; reliable and timely contact tracing.

On March 29, CUMH introduced the Visitors App called 'Yellow Schedule' which allows outpatient pregnant women booked for an anatomy scan to add a nominated partner to attend the upcoming appointment with them. 

The App will facilitate rapid contact tracing if required. 

On April 19, the hospital commenced a soft launch of the App on one of the postnatal wards and opened up to nominated partners visiting for one hour at a time. This App allows the nominated partner to self-schedule visits within permitted visiting times.

Last week, however, CUMH opened up visiting for nominated partners on all wards to one hour per day with the App.

A spokesperson for CUMH told The Echo that they plan to extend the visiting time in the near future when they feel it is safe to do so.

“Our priority during this pandemic is always to protect mothers, babies and staff."

Though only in operation a couple of weeks, there has been positive feedback on the solution.

Yellow Schedule will automatically send an SMS to the nominated partner once the mother has been admitted as an in-patient enabling them to schedule post-delivery visits. The visitor will screen online for Covid-19 prior to arrival and check-in via QR code at the check-in kiosk at the entrance to the hospital.

Martina Skelly, CEO of Yellow Schedule said that the Covid-19 pandemic has been “especially hard on expecting couples".

"Aside from the added stress around Covid-19 itself, pregnancy is a challenging time physically and emotionally. It’s fantastic to see maternity units start to open up access to scans and visits to support partners,” she said.

“It was clear from working with the project team at CUMH that their focus has been on getting partners back into the hospital in a secure, simple to use and efficient way, that would be easy for them to manage and not add more stress during an already stressful time.” 

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