As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rapidly evolve, Ob Hospitalist Group has implemented its emergency preparedness plan. Ensuring the safety of patients, our hospital partners and our clinicians remains our top priority.
Preparing our hospitals
We are actively partnering with our hospital partners to ensure that patients receive the care they deserve in a safe, timely manner. Our teams are working with hospitals across our national network to implement procedures to identify and manage pregnant women who might have contracted a COVID-19 infection. Our clinicians are also working with our hospitals to ensure pregnant patients who seek care – with viral symptoms or separate pregnancy-related concerns – are protected during triage.
Unfortunately, labor and delivery is often an overlooked entry point in hospitals for viral infections. When a pregnant woman presents at a hospital, in most cases she will bypass the ED and instead be sent directly to the labor and delivery unit. During a viral outbreak, this means an immunocompromised woman is being sent through the hospital to get to L&D and is exposed to transmissible viruses along the way. In times of viral pandemics, new approaches are warranted to ensure that patients are protected during obstetrical triage, labor and delivery, recovery and postpartum treatment.
Preparing our clinical teams
To prepare our clinicians, we have teams in place that are vigilantly monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation in real time to make sure that our clinicians are informed and prepared. We are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to align on the most-up-to date screening, testing and treatment recommendations.
We are also acting with abundant caution to protect the health of patients, our clinicians and others. We are regularly communicating with our clinicians to confirm they are taking the appropriate personal precautions to prevent infection and have the resources they need to provide patients with the highest quality of care. In the event that members of our team are unable to work due to actual infection or are quarantined due to close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient, we plan to do everything in our power to leverage our nationwide, 900+ clinician-strong workforce to prevent gaps in coverage.
We are also concerned about the well-being of our community physician partners. Our site directors are in close connection with their community OB/GYN colleagues to see how we can best support them and their patients during this time.
Advancing knowledge of COVID-19 infection in pregnancy
As the largest OB hospitalist medical network in the country, OBHG’s body of evidence has informed the development of standard sets of protocols for delivery complications such as preeclampsia and postpartum hemorrhage as well strategies to combat medically unnecessary cesarean sections. Our teams are now poised to contribute to national and international learnings about COVID-19 infection in pregnancy and use evidence-based data to tailor protocols. While most of the seriously ill patients seem to be those with underlying medical conditions and the elderly, we know that pregnant women are also susceptible to infectious diseases.
To better understand where our clinical teams are encountering patients with known or presumed COVID-19 infection, we are utilizing an internal hotline to collect information. We are collecting information about all patient encounters with known or confirmed COVID-19 infections and are sharing experiences and knowledge across our entire OBHG network of clinicians at 180+ hospital partner sites. We are also using our Ob Exchange technology platform for clinicians across the OBHG network to collaborate, exchange information and access the latest learnings about COVID-19. As information evolves, we will be sharing our aggregated experiences with our hospital partners, throughout our clinical network and the obstetrics field.