September 20, 2021
Richmond, Va. — HCA Virginia has expanded services to Williamsburg with the opening of a new telehealth facility. Patients in need of specialized maternal-fetal medicine can now visit Commonwealth Perinatal Services in Williamsburg and have access to the Henrico Doctors’ Hospital physician team and genetic counselors via telemed technology.
HCA Virginia was the first in the region to bring high-risk maternal-fetal care to patients in their home community last year in Spotsylvania. The ability for high-risk patients to consult with their physicians virtually provides a convenient option for most of their OB visits, then they are able to deliver at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital in Richmond under the care of their maternal-fetal medicine specialists.
“Doctors are able to diagnose, evaluate, and treat patients in remote areas using ultrasound technology without being in the same location,” said James T. Christmas, MD, maternal and fetal medicine specialist with HCA Virginia’s Perinatal Centers. “Our goal is to provide virtually the same experience that we can provide to the patient in the next room.”
The telehealth maternal-fetal medicine clinics are staffed by highly trained sonographers and nurses to provide onsite care for patients. The maternal fetal medicine provider uses the telehealth platform from a remote location to review the patients’ ultrasound and clinical history, and then conducts a consult with the patient and onsite clinical staff just as if they were in the room.
Virtual appointments increase access to care, as well as convenience during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Christmas, the United States is faced with an unacceptably high rate of severe morbidity and mortality, and part of that is because of relatively poor access to high level perinatal care in some areas.
The Commonwealth Perinatal Services telehealth clinic in Williamsburg is currently open during the following hours: the first Wednesday of each month, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and every Thursday the rest of the month, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There are plans to extend the hours.