Digital maternity guide provides comfort

The rapidly developing technology has changed the way we live and the way the public sector offers services to the general public. It has also changed what patients and family members expect from the public sector, such as a tailored system that offers individualized communication and care.

As a result, the Department of Women’s Diseases and Births at Aarhus University Hospital (AUH) has chosen to use Emento’s platform to create a digital patient guide for expecting parents. During the first few days after delivery, the new parents will receive relevant information from the maternity guide in the app.

Impressive results

The digital platform helps the ward create individualized and accurate maternity guides. The guide helps new parents not only when they are still in the hospital but also before and after follow-up visits. The knowledge provided by the app gives new families a thorough overview of postpartum recovery and nursing information, which relieves stress and creates a sense of security. Families that had used the app provided overwhelmingly positive feedback. Clinicians also found the app information-rich and beneficial for new parents. The maternity guide is a great supplement to the traditional physician-patient consult, and as a result, the families do not have to be physically present in the ward to gain access to health information.

As Heidi and Terese, two new mothers that had used the app, explained:

“We have discovered new information from the app that was not provided to us at the hospital or that we simply had forgotten in the chaos of becoming parents.”

A nurse explained that with the help of the guide, families are now familiar with how to care for the newborn in advance:

“Sometimes when I am changing diapers, the father would say: that right there are urates, I have read about that in the app. And I think, yes! Now they won’t call us later on with concerns about blood in the diaper.”

A decrease in the number of phone calls received by the ward

Over the summer of 2018, implementation of the maternity guide was tested on 1607 families, and the results were impressive; The families gained a greater knowledge and ability to find relevant information from the app, which was reflected in a decrease in phone calls made to the ward after discharge.

The ward went from receiving 1360 calls in the summer of 2017 to 1265 calls in the summer of 2018. While the number of births increased by 32, the number of phone calls received reduced by 7%. The messaging system in the app played an important role in this improvement. On average, 27 mothers chose to message the ward instead of calling every month. This change in behavior resulted in a more efficient work environment as the staff now has the flexibility to respond to patients’ messages based on their work schedule.

A reduction in overcrowding and duration of hospital stays

From clinicians’ perspective, the guide made it safe to discharge families earlier than before, as they now have access to information through the maternity guide as well as the built-in message function. The staff also noticed that new parents who had used the app felt safer about returning home earlier after giving birth.

According to the evaluation, the average number of hospitalization days, as well as the occupancy rate at the postpartum unit, showed a decrease from the summer of 2017 to the summer of 2018. According to the department, the maternity guide in the Emento app is one of the main reasons such improvement was observed.

Overall, the maternity guide in the app has made it possible to optimize the way the ward uses its resources. The communication flow has become streamlined as all the information the staff needs to convey is now readily available to the families in the app. This ensures that the staff can provide a more individualized guidance to families.