Maternity DirectA secure telemedicine app connecting pregnant women with NHS midwives
Maternity Direct is a secure telemedicine app connecting a pregnant woman with a registered NHS midwife to answer non-urgent queries by text chat.
Now, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maternity Direct is proving even more vital.
Pregnant women are a vulnerable group for COVID-19 and should be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. Similarly, midwives who may be self-isolating are now able to work remotely.
Acadiant developed Maternity Direct in partnership with Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust to help address pregnant women’s concerns and to ensure they have accurate, timely information in the long gap between antenatal appointments.
Maternity Direct scales NHS resources by reducing unnecessary Midwifery, Maternity, GP and A&E attendances for simpler queries. Moreover, midwives can easily text chat with 4 or 5 women in the time it takes for a single telephone or video call. Completed chats, with a full audit trail, are then stored in the Trust’s electronic medical record for future reference. Maternity Direct runs on any smartphone, tablet, or laptop and works on any operating system.
Maternity Direct, Patient's View
Maternity Direct has had more than 7,000 users since it was first deployed in Basildon Hospital in August 2019. Some 80 percent of women surveyed said Maternity Direct saved them from using another NHS service, such as visiting a Community Midwife, the Maternity Assessment Centre, or their GP.
Features for Women and Midwives
My Chat. A secure text chat between a woman and an NHS registered midwife, who can see the woman’s e-referral form and pregnancy history before their chat begins.
For the woman. The chats offer easy, quick access to a trusted midwifery professional and privacy to conduct discreet text chats with midwives.
For the midwife. The midwife can access the woman’s e-referral form to review the woman’s pregnancy history and medical conditions, as well as see her chat history with any midwife conducted on the app. When a woman starts a chat, the midwife on duty knows exactly who she’s talking to, providing assurance to both woman and midwife.
My COVID-19 Triage Forms Before Face-to-Face Appointments for Women and Appointments List for Midwives. A new feature built to help women and midwives cope with the pandemic by enabling women—before they attend their antenatal hospital appointments—to quickly and easily indicate if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
For the woman. An easy-to-complete form, which gives a quick indication as to whether or not to attend her antenatal appointments and for the midwife to follow up with more guidance through the Maternity Direct secure text chat.
For the midwife. A real-time list of all women who have upcoming appointments and whether they have COVID-19 symptoms, which can be filtered by date, indicating responses, advice given, and actions taken.
Maternity Direct, COVID-19 Triage Form
My Personal Care Plan. A digitised version of the Personal Care Plan allows a woman to record her individual choices and decisions over the course of her pregnancy. This helps Trusts meet the NHS England goal that all pregnant women have a personalised care plan by 2020/21.
For the woman. A chance to consider all aspects of her pregnancy from conception through early parenthood, and to record her questions, choices, concerns and decisions in an easy-to-use digital format.
For the midwife. An easy-to-use digital format to discuss a woman’s choices and respond to any questions about her pregnancy.
Health Information. Relevant information on pregnancy and general health, under the control of the Trust’s midwives to easily curate, schedule, and upload timely information from local, regional and national sources.
For the woman. Updated information about a variety of relevant themes available for her to access at any time. The Health Information is available for guests to access, so family members and friends can also benefit.
For the midwife. A broadcast platform to push out news and information that does not need a one-to-one chat.
Maternity Direct, Health Information
My appointments. Maternity Direct interoperates with a hospital’s appointment system to automate appointment reminders and help minimise Did Not Attends.
For the woman. Ability to see her hospital scan appointments at a glance and download them into her personal calendar.
For the midwife. Assurance that the woman has her hospital appointment dates and times at hand and knows when to come in for her scans. She can also ensure the woman fills out her COVID-19 Triage Forms Before Face-to-Face Appointments within 48 hours of the appointment.
"The personalised care plan provides an ideal opportunity to develop strategies to help each woman manage her own health and in so doing ensure the best outcome for her baby."
Benefits for midwives
Efficient use of midwife’s time. A midwife can conduct several chats in the time she would usually spend on a single telephone phone call. Chats are conducted asynchronously, so she can prioritise the more urgent and important issues. A library of saved responses and relevant links helps minimise typing on frequent topics.
Midwife Group Chat. Group chat functionality enables midwives to consult with each other on tricky queries and to manage handovers.
Supervision and assurance. Chats can be supervised in real time. All live and closed chats are visible to any authorised midwife or supervisor, for training and quality improvement.
Maternity Direct, Midwife's View
Benefits for Trusts
Control. Maternity Direct is under the Trust’s control. The Trust manages the e-referral system and provides women with the link to the app. There’s no need to go through any app store to download the app—the Trust is the highest authority.
Better scales NHS resources. Unlike phone calls or in-person appointments, text chats are asynchronous, so a midwife can interact with several women at a time. Analytics indicate busiest times and days to help in workforce planning.
Full immutable audit trail. Maternity Direct chats are stored in the Trust’s electronic medical record or other database and can be consulted to confirm advice given.
Data insights and analytics. Maternity Direct will help generate insights by providing full analytic dashboards covering themes, outcomes, heaviest traffic (by day and hour) number of users and chats, survey results and feedback.
Flexible customised content. Content and logos are flexible and can be customised to meet your Trust’s needs.
Maternity Direct, Chat Summary Dashboard
By 2023/24, all women will be able to access their maternity notes and information through their smartphones or other devices.
NHS Long Term Plan, January 2019