Forum: Patient engagement
The WHO 7 Day Mother Baby mCheck Tool is designed to increase safety during the high-risk postnatal period for mothers and babies. It facilitates safe discharge from care, and supports mothers to make informed decisions about when and if to access skilled care. The Tool focuses on key danger signs to target the most common causes of maternal and neonatal morbidity and covers the first seven days after birth as this is known to be a high risk period.
The Tool uses well recognized, evidence-based danger signs for a mother and her baby to trigger questions that a mother can ask herself during this period. It is designed to be simple and easy to use. Upon identifying any of these danger signs in either herself or her baby, the tool can help a mother assess the severity and urgency of the problem and whether to access skilled care. By promoting appropriate and timely health-seeking behavior, it is hoped that the tool will ultimately reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.
This decision making process will be further enhanced by the use of mHealth (mobile phone) technology. Mothers will be able to use the tool as a trigger to call an interactive automated system in their local language, that will further guide their decision-making process regarding seeking skilled care.
Checklists aimed at use by healthcare professionals have been shown to result in improved outcomes in patient safety; however, this is the first use of a patient-held checklist. This demonstrates a shift towards increased patient engagement, which combines expert content with a patient-centered approach.