Personalized Care for Mothers Overcoming Addiction
HealthCall and Fayette EMS team up to improve pre- and postpartum care for mothers seeking to get back on their feet
When Rick D’Auria gets a phone call about a pregnant mother struggling with addiction, it begins a cascade of events and conversations his office needs to closely monitor to ensure this woman and her child receive all the resources they need from all the different departments in place to help.
It can be a long and winding road involving many points of contact; keeping track is critical.
Given all the various challenges D’Auria and his team at Fayette EMS are there to address, from substance abuse counseling to postpartum care, as well as all the different local agencies he and his team partner with, a software upgrade seemed warranted.
“We were using Google Workspace (formerly Google Suite) and Excel to track so many moving parts and it just wasn’t keeping up with our needs,’ said D’Auria who is the Director of the Community Network Team at Fayette EMS in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, about 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh with a population of just over 7,000 residents. “With HealthCall, we can create timelines for our patients, everything is in one place, and we can better cross talk with multiple departments across the county. I’m not scrolling through a Google document looking for something or some detail from a conversation that happened three months ago.”
Fayette EMS recently partnered with HealthCall to improve efficiencies in its Child and Youth Services program, expanding an ongoing commitment to diversify paramedicine and community medicine resources and tools.
HealthCall developed a series of web-based, in-depth referral and assessment forms so that Fayette EMS could offer individualized plans of care for each family both prenatal and postpartum, ranging from treating addiction to mental health to procuring diapers. Fayette EMS case workers also now have access to more efficient time tracking and patient summary reporting, allowing for more streamlined referrals between agencies.
D’Auria feels the new software allows him and his team to better connect the dots for mothers who often don’t know where to turn.
Connecting Moms to Resources
The target patient populations for this Fayette EMS program is pregnant women and mothers with newborn and young children working to get back on their feet to overcome addiction and support their families. In 2021, Fayette EMS treated 67 cases; at the start of 2022, it currently has 23 and expects that number to rise. The women they see are usually unemployed, and have used methadone, subutex, or suboxone, all opioid derivatives to help manage withdrawal. Some have also used methamphetamines.
It’s estimated that 5 percent of pregnant women use one or more addictive substances, which can include both illegal and prescribed drugs. Any use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs of abuse of prescription medications by pregnant women can lead to life-threatening consequences for infants.
Fayette EMS Child and Youth Services program works one-on-one with these moms and moms-to-be to help them schedule doctor appointments, obtain diapers and formula, and receive counseling, among other resources. They’re there to ensure continuity of care. They don’t want these women missing prescribed treatments and turning to illicit drugs purchased on the street, some which may contain fentanyl and other harmful substances that put the lives of moms and their children at risk.
After implementing and customizing HealthCall, with just a few clicks, Fayette EMS case managers can quickly categorize patients as “active,” “inactive compliant,” “inactive non-compliant,” or “program refusal. They can create an electronic trail of events and identify where a patient might have fallen off the radar and where they can intervene.
There’s also a record of patient transports as well as conversations that took place between patients and their providers, creating a 360-degree view of the care the mom receives and which county departments, clinics, and even local diaper banks are helping her. HealthCall’s program also streamlined billing and time-stamping since Fayette EMS bills by the minute. Data retrieval has also become much easier.
“HealthCall allows us to complete the circle of patient care in a way we couldn’t do before, I’m not spending so much time sorting through Google documents or Excel sheets trying to find information. When you’ve got a mother with a drug addiction, there’s a lot to stay on top of, and I think we can better anticipate, identify and intervene more effectively.”
“We can see with a patient, ‘Oh, this happened at their Tuesday morning primary care appointment, and here are the next steps, and let’s make sure this patient gets transportation to her next appointment and looks like she needs a fresh supply of diapers,” said Nicolena Girvin, a lead specialist with the program’s network team. “Moms often don’t know the resources that are available to them. We can open up HealthCall and easily see everything that’s transpired.”
D’Auria believes this software upgrade enables Fayette EMS to deliver patient care at a whole new level. “HealthCall allows us to complete the circle of patient care in a way we couldn’t do before,” said D’Auria. “I’m not spending so much time sorting through Google documents or Excel sheets trying to find information. When you’ve got a mother with a drug addiction, there’s a lot to stay on top of, and I think we can better anticipate, identify and intervene more effectively.”
HealthCall is leading the advancement of in-home care delivery and eliminating barriers for underserved populations. We are the platform behind the dedicated people caring for our most at-risk populations – the ones aging at home, those suffering with chronic disease, addiction and COVID-19 as well as the growing segment of uninsured and underinsured. Our patented care-coordination platform puts patients at the center of the care model. HealthCall empowers extended care teams with a plethora of collaboration tools and empowers patients with timely communication to help stay healthier at home longer.