Transforming Diabetes Care in Pregnancy

With Ciara Coveney Advanced Midwife Practitioner in Diabetes in Pregnancy in the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street Dublin

HPN December 2021 Digital – 106

A new service from The National Maternity Hospital eliminates the need for gestational diabetes patients to come to the hospital. This is during Covid-19 and beyond.

Gestational diabetes patients, previously had to come to hospital every three to four weeks during their pregnancy. This was on top of their antenatal care. They can now receive the care they need in the comfort of their own homes. This is following the introduction of Gestational Diabetes Virtual Care.

With the onset of Covid-19, the hospital’s diabetes in pregnancy service needed to adapt and innovate clinical practice for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

The midwifery led clinic brought in women traditionally for education. Along with venous blood sampling and self-monitoring of blood glucose review.

Ciara Coveney, Advanced Midwife Practitioner at the hospital came together with her midwifery colleagues Hannah Rooney and Sally Byrne. They had an aim of providing a comprehensive midwifery led episode of care for GDM management on a virtual platform. This is so that they could reduce the numbers of women attending the hospital in person. They also wanted to maintain their care standards and keep satisfactory outcomes for the GDM cohort.

Dietetics and the wider multi-disciplinary team network supported and delivered this innovation.

 Ciara Coveney spoke about the initiative

She said, “This innovation provides significant cost saving to the hospital and also to the patient, whilst keeping women safe by providing their care remotely closer to the home. This digital innovation is the first of its kind and scale in diabetes and pregnancy in Ireland. We hope it will transform care standards for women.”

This service is now a virtual telehealth service. This is from the point of diagnosis, treatment and in addition through to discharge.

From diagnosis, women are educated on a live webinar with midwives and dietitians, and then followed up with a virtual telehealth clinic.

The team sourced a blood glucose monitor, which is Bluetooth enabled and syncs to an App that auto-populates to a patient master list.

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