According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina’s maternal mortality rate (24.7 deaths per 100,000 live births during 2013-2017) is more than double the national average. Among nonwhite South Carolinians, that rate is even higher (46.3 deaths per 100,000 live births).
In rural communities without specialized healthcare, some providers are using telehealth programs like Project ECHO to connect with specialists to learn how to address the issue.Through Project ECHO, OB/GYNs can speak with primary care providers in rural communities to help them understand what to do during an appointment with a pregnant patient.
Through live video, the specialists present a case to the providers who take turns discussing how they’d assess the patient. After learning the best way to proceed with that case, the providers can get the specialists’ advice on the issues they’re seeing in their communities.