03/19/21

One year later: How L&D has changed during the pandemic

It is hard to believe we have been practicing medicine in a COVID environment for about a year now. In that time, the way OBHG hospitalists perform our day-to-day activities has dramatically changed, and some of these changes may be here to stay. This has required our teams of OB hospitalists to be nimble even while under enormous stress with increased concern for their patients’ and families’ health as well as their own. Our teams have adapted to continually ensure that all patients receive the best possible care.

By the numbers: What our teams saw on the front lines

Over the past year, our network has cared for at least 4,000 patients with known COVID-19 infections. These cases have been spread across our network and most sites have seen a fair number of patients. We have seen two distinct peaks in the volume of cases – one in late June 2020 and the other in January 2021. During each of these peaks, we were seeing over 200 patients per week across our sites. About 40% of our total COVID-19 encounters have occurred in the obstetrics emergency department, while another 40% were inpatients.

We have seen and continue to see a decrease in the overall volume of patients presenting to the obstetrical emergency department. Average daily visits in February of 2021 were about 9% below pre-COVID levels. These have improved from the low point in April of 2020 where volumes had decreased by about 30%. The average daily deliveries that our teams have performed appear to be about 2.5% lower than last year. This could be a sign of the overall decline in birth rates in the United States and expected decline this year accentuated by COVID.

OBHG hospitalists adapted to continue high level of patient care

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, our OB hospitalist teams nationwide took action to ensure uninterrupted care and safety of OB patients on the labor and delivery units. They continued to leverage our national network to share best practices and identify national trends as the pandemic evolved. OBHG hospitalists helped our hospital partners:

  • Develop and implement new procedures for the safety of staff and patients
  • Train colleagues on proper PPE usage
  • Develop telemedicine options for patients inside and outside the hospital
  • Set up testing systems for pregnant women and medical teams
  • Relocate an entire labor and delivery unit (in some situations)

Read more about how our teams leapt into action to serve our patients and hospital partners.