New C-Section App May Shorten Hospital Stays for New Mothers

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A new smartphone app has reinvented the C-section birth delivery process, bringing it further into the modern age. A study shows that women who used a pre and postoperative app-based program actually had shorter hospital stays after delivery than mothers who did not use it, according to a press release by the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Credit: Phalinn Ooi/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

The smartphone app is a part of the Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) program, and the study was presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists Practice Management Meeting. The goal was to create an app technology that offered empowerment for mothers who must undergo C-sections, mainly by helping them to properly prepare for their surgical birth procedures.

How the C-Section App Works

Four weeks prior to the procedure, expectant mothers scheduled for C-sections download a special app onto their smartphones. The app was developed as a part of PSH, which is a patient-centered, physician-led, team-based model of coordinated care that guides patients through their entire surgical experience. The app serves as almost a personal online assistant that reminds patients of their appointments, gives pre-surgery information — like stop and start times for medications — and monitors post surgery health checks, like pain control and the healing and recovery of the C-section wound.

Related: Rising Number of C-Sections May Be Affecting Evolution

Study author Attila Kett, M.D., M.B.A. who is also the division chief of Obstetric Anesthesia at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, N.J says insurance companies must pay for 96 hours of hospitalization, per federal law. But if the physician thinks mother and baby are healthy, and the mother agrees, it is safe and preferred for the new family to leave the hospital sooner.

How the App Makes a Difference

The first 30 women to use the app found the average length of their hospital stay shortened from 3.7 days to 2.7 days. The first program in the United States to use enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) for C-section, both the PSH and ERAS programs use several methods to help women have easier postoperative side effects and usher them onto a quicker road to recovery.

Related: C-Section Babies Have Higher Obesity Risk, Study Says

The C-section app doesn’t only aid new mothers, but also promises to be a cost-effective service to all physicians and hospitals who implement it as part of their pregnancy and childbirth care.  When considering the money used for resources for participants in the program, plus the development and implementation of the app combined with the C-section surgical patients having lesser overall hospital stays, the app provided a significant return on their investment — 216 percent the first year. And researchers estimate that it could climb to 282 percent in subsequent years.

“The app empowers women by putting them in control of their healthcare needs,” adds Dr. Kett.

Ronke Idowu Reeves
Ronke Idowu Reeves is a writer and journalist who hails from Brooklyn, NY. Her news and entertainment stories have appeared on WABC-TV-New York, Fox News Channel, VH1, BET.com plus in Sundance Film Festival’s Sundance Daily Insider and People Magazine.