Introduction: Addressing gaps in access to prenatal care is an important step to reversing rising rates of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality and invites the exploration of innovative care models. This integrative review of published literature explores the patient, health care provider, and organizational experience of integrating virtual visits in prenatal care.
Methods: A literature search to identify original studies and quality improvement projects published between 2010 and 2020 was conducted in PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and Google Scholar using keywords associated with both telemedicine and prenatal care. Inclusion criteria specified articles pertaining to synchronous virtual visits between pregnant patients and health care providers, and articles were excluded if visits were not pregnancy-centric or pertaining to telemonitoring or mobile applications. Reference lists of identified reviews were screened, and a hand search of 4 applicable journals was also conducted. Findings were organized according to the factors of the social ecological model: individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and public policy.
Results: The search identified 2666 articles after duplicates were removed, of which 13 met all criteria. Findings across these 13 articles indicated strong patient and health care provider satisfaction with virtual care related to cost savings and convenience, with clinic wait times and cancellation rates also improving. Health care provider input and thoughtful organizational planning were key to a smooth telemedicine implementation process. There were notably no significant differences in clinical outcomes for those who used virtual care.
Discussion: Although data are limited, offering an integrated model that uses both virtual visits and in-person visits has been well-received by patients and health care providers and could improve access to care well into the future. Virtual visits in prenatal care have been well-received by patients and health care providers, showing promise as an emerging model for improving access to care.
Graduate School; Nurse-Midwifery (M.S.)
Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health
Wu, Katrina; Lopez, Christina; and Nichols, Michelle, "Virtual Visits in Prenatal Care: An Integrative Review" (2022). Graduate School Faculty Publications. 33.