As part of Northwest Perinatal Center’s efforts to continuously improve the service that we provide our referring providers and patients, we are deploying a new process to automatically schedule patients to return for a follow-up limited anatomy evaluation when this is recommended following a fetal anatomy survey with “suboptimally seen anatomy.”  We have received several requests for this from providers as part of our site visits and have spent the last year developing this workflow.

Starting the second week of January 2017, patients who have suboptimally visualized anatomy for which we would recommend a follow-up anatomy evaluation (based upon the type of anatomy survey – routine vs. detailed) will either be scheduled at the conclusion of the study or will be contacted at home to schedule.

As part of this process, NWP providers and staff have developed adjunct materials and standardized protocols, which include some of the following:

  • a new NWP Photo Envelope that your patients will receive that includes information about follow-up appointments
  • new standard clinical protocols for anatomic structures that require reevaluation based upon the type of exam and indications for the study

The materials listed above and talking points our staff use during the encounter will hopefully make it more clear to your patients that a request to return for suboptimally visualized anatomy does not imply that there is a cause for concern, but rather that we were unable to adequately see all the structures and a follow-up study is recommended. You can download the forms and handouts by clicking the hyperlinks above. We will plan to also distribute some of these materials at future site visits in 2017.

We hope that this new workflow will reduce the time and effort it takes your respective staff members to coordinate this follow-up. Additionally, our hope is that it improves patient satisfaction with the services that we provide. Going forward, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the providers at NWP if there are issues with this workflow that can be improved.