Objective: Our aim in this study was to evaluate the impact of virtual care for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: This multiple methods program evaluation used the Quadruple Aim Framework. The impact on patient experience, cost and provider satisfaction was assessed using surveys and interviews. Chi-square and Poisson statistics were used to compare clinical outcomes before (April 2019 to February 2020) and after (May 2020 to March 2021) the shift to virtual care.
Results: Patient experience surveys were completed by 85 women. Most of them rated their virtual care experience as good or excellent (93%), with a preference for continued virtual visits in the future (84%). Most respondents felt virtual care saved them money (93%) and time (98%). Six health-care providers at the Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic were interviewed and all believed the switch to virtual care was largely positive. Overall, interview transcripts revealed that health-care providers were happy with the transition, although nurses initially perceived an increased workload. There were no significant differences in rates of cesarean section procedures, macrosomia, neonatal intensive care unit admissions or the proportion of appointments at which insulin was initiated between in-person and virtual care patient outcomes. There was a decreased proportion of missed appointments after the switch to virtual care (6.15% vs 1.21%, p<0.0001).
Conclusions: There has been high patient and provider satisfaction with virtual GDM care, with no difference in clinical outcomes and fewer missed appointments. Virtual GDM care should remain an option in the future.
Keywords: clinic evaluation; diabète gestationnel; gestational diabetes; soins virtuels; virtual care; évaluation clinique.
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