Moms-to-be look to virtual doctor visits to reduce COVID-19 exposure

Moms, moms-to-be and women in the Phoenix metro region can now use cell phones and computers to receive virtual healthcare from MomDoc physicians, easing some of the worry about exposure to the new COVID-19 virus. 

Chandler-based MomDoc, an all-female provider obstetrician practice with 16 offices across the Valley, is launching the new telemedicine service today.  

The virtual service originally was designed as an added convenience for patients to access healthcare in non-emergencies. Now, it could help reduce exposure to COVID-19, said OB/GYN Brittany Stam of MomDoc. 

“Adding virtual care to our offerings lets us expand that access to care by reducing patient drive time, wait times, and time away from work or home,” Dr. Stam said. “In addition, virtual care is an ideal solution for reducing patient exposure to viruses like COVID-19 by treating patients at home.” 

Virtual visits are available to all patients. But they will be particularly beneficial for pregnant patients who have been prescribed bed rest, live in rural areas, or are at higher risk for complications and cannot easily attend an in-person appointment, she said. 

MomDoc has selected another Valley company, eVisit, to bring the virtual care technology to patients. The Mesa-based eVisit currently provides virtual healthcare technology for 200 healthcare organizations, including the largest systems in the U.S., according to the company. 

Telemedicine to play crucial role during virus outbreak

Local and national public health officials are encouraging patients to use telemedicine when possible as the coronavirus spreads across the states. 

“Increased access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 public health emergency is crucial to managing the outbreak,” said eVisit CEO Bret Larsen. “As hospitals step up their response to COVID-19, eVisit wants to do its part to keep staff and patients safe while slowing the spread of the virus.”

Coronavirus and moms-to-be

Currently, there is no information from published scientific reports about the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Pregnant women, however, could be more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19, it states. They also might be at risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality compared to the general population as witnessed during other coronavirus outbreaks like the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or SARS-CoV.

Pregnant women are advised to take the same precautions as everyone else. Frequently wash hands with soapy hot water for 20 seconds, disinfect surfaces frequently, avoid contact with people who are sick, and avoid crowds. For more details, visit the CDC website at: pregnant women and children. 

About MomDoc 

MomDoc is a women-for-women health care provider. Founded in Chandler in 1976, 

It provides gynecological and obstetric care for every stage of life. 

The practice emphasizes convenience and comfortable surroundings. Patients, including new patients, can make same-day, early morning, daytime, evening, and Saturday appointments. 

There are 16 locations throughout the Valley. A Mi Doctora office in Mesa has Spanish-speaking doctors and staff. 

For more information, go to: MomDoc

Victoria Harker

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