About the Project
The Mobile Maternity Project is a pilot initiative to increase primary health care capacity and improve patient and population outcomes by developing and implementing an obstetrics telehealth service that will positively impact physicians and their patients.
Mobile Maternity allows the patient to “meet” with her out-of-town Obstetrician using a computer monitor, video camera and microphone. This permits the patient and the specialist doctor to visit as if they were both in the same room.
- Timeline: April 2016 – Ongoing [Expected to end: Feb 2018]
- Communities / Where
- Castlegar, Christina Lake, Crawford Bay, Grand Forks, Kaslo, Midway, Nakusp, Nelson,New Denver, Riondel, Creston, Grey Creek, Rock Creek
- Funding Agency
- Specialist Services Committee, Doctors of BC
- Dr. Jude Kornelsen (Centre for Rural Health Research, UBC)
- Dr. Shiraz Moola, OB/GYN
Rationale for Initiative
Rural and remote residents of BC face challenges of accessing health care close to home, particularly when specialist care is required. When a patient requires complex care that exceeds the scope of primary care practitioners, referral or transfer to the nearest specialist centre is the only option, even for non-emergent situations. In some instances, patients are unable or choose not to travel due to a combination of financial and/ family constraints or significant challenges associated with remote geographical locations. Emerging evidence reflects the physiologic morbidities and the substantial cost for both mothers and newborns who need to travel significantly to access care. Further, rural family Physicians and midwives have expressed the need for a more collaborative maternity-care infrastructure, whether or not they do planned local deliveries.
Aim of Project
- Understand the elements of relationships between general practitioners (GP) and specialist physicians (SP)
- Improve collegiality between the service providers
- Develop models of collaboration, embrace new technologies, service models, and payment modalities
- Foster patient self-management and reduce unnecessary burden on the patient and their family
Mobile Maternity benefits patients by
- Providing access to specialist doctors’ services in the convenience and comfort of their community
- Keeping them close to home
- Reducing travel time and costs for them and family members
- Giving them a choice to meet with the obstetrician specialist by Mobile Maternity or in person