In the News: Nov 28–Dec 5

Female-Focused Care Delivery for Postpartum Depression

A recent NPR article highlights the seriousness of untreated postpartum depression (PPD). Nationally, PPD affects 1 in every 7 mothers, with women of color and low-income mothers several times more likely to suffer due to lack of access to proper treatment. Women often lie about their symptoms out of fear of their families being torn apart, as well as being stigmatized. When left untreated, babies also suffer, as they are unable to form secure attachments and are more likely to develop behavioral issues and, overall, have lower cognitive abilities.

PPD screening tools are not a catch-all and can lead to treatment discrepancy—current screening tools were developed using mostly white research participants, making the tools less relevant for other cultural backgrounds. Noticing this gap, the Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia began a pilot program that paired mothers with graduate students training to become counselors. They conducted at-home visits 1 hour a week for as many weeks as the women needed, allowing them to be treated in the privacy of their own homes.

Postpartum depression screening is a key component in many obstetrics programs, both during and after pregnancy. Women’s behavioral health programs must encompass a dynamic field to meet the needs of a variety of individuals affected by mental health disorders, and understanding this field is vital in improving access to care. Please read the Sg2 FAQ Women’s Behavioral Health Programs to learn more about improved outcomes for postpartum care and explore a variety of methods for female-focused care delivery.

Amazon Includes Medication Management With Alexa

A FierceHealthcare article discusses Amazon’s recent announcement that Alexa—in partnership with the pharmacy chain Giant Eagle—will now include a voice-enabled medication reminder feature.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced HIPPA-compliant skill kits for developers as an initial step in expanding Alexa’s capabilities. As part of an invite-only program, 6 health care organizations, with representation from hospitals and insurance companies, tested the new HIPAA-compliant voice tools. Customers can now use Alexa to set reminders to take medications, check on prescriptions and schedule doctor visits. The latest features of Amazon’s Alexa were designed with the goal of simplifying medication management and making home care easier for home-bound individuals.

Today, the American population is undergoing a demographic shift: the fastest-growing segment of the population is aged 85 and older, and this cohort increasingly wants to stay at home or in their communities as they age. In response to consumer preference for home-based care, health systems and new market entrants must work together to deliver care outside the traditional medical campus. To learn more about how health systems can work to address changing preferences in aging please watch the Sg2 on-demand webinar Aging in Place.

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