Partners increases prenatal care for young women with text messaging

With so many young adults embracing text messaging as their preferred means of communication, Partners HealthCare System was able to boost the level of prenatal care delivered to young, pregnant women by sending encouragement and educational messages via text, the Boston-based integrated delivery network reports.

Young women who received texts as part of a program from the Center for Connected Health at Partners and Lynn (Mass.) Community Health Center received the recommended level of prenatal care 9 percent more often than those in a control group. The 25 moms-to-be enrolled in the texting program--with an average age of 22--received one to four text messages a week during their pregnancies and for two weeks after giving birth, the Daily Item reports. The messages provided positive reinforcement, prodded the women to schedule appointments at the health center and reminded patients to call if they had any questions or concerns.

"There are some women who go through their entire pregnancy with minimal support other than that of their OB/GYN office," Leanna McDermott, a nurse at Lynn Community Health Center, says in a press release. "The text messaging program provides another opportunity for healthcare providers to reach out, providing additional support and education that will help to ensure that they and their babies will get the right amount of prenatal care."

Lori Abrams Berry, Lynn Community Health Center executive director, says the program, the first text-messaging campaign the community clinic has undertaken, indicated a desire to continue this form of communication.

For more:
- read this story from the Daily Item (Lynn, Mass.)
- see this Partners press release