Week 11: Impact of Technology Innovation: Including Data & Privacy

Founding Medical Director of  Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program for Moms, or MCPAP

There has been much research to identify how to best manage and treat postpartum depression. In this day and age, technology advancements almost always play a role in how we provide this care. Nancy Byatt is a psychiatrist and the founding member of a program that was launched to help train healthcare providers to identify PPD symptoms and connect them with resources to answer questions related to treatment of these women (Chatterjee. 2020). Nancy created this program when she learned that providers were struggling with knowing how to care for women with PPD. This program is now a working model in the 21st Century Cures Act which was signed by President Obama to address a wide array of issues including, perinatal mental health.

It is technological advances such as this that are changing the trajectory of how we care for patients. Although technology may at times serve as a hindrance in certain regards, it can in fact greatly enhance the quality of care provided to patients seen every day.

Image result for clip art of electronic medical records

 Electronic health records (EHRs) have been one of the greatest technological innovations in recent years and have done great things for protecting the data and privacy of mothers with perinatal mood disorders. Paper charts are high risk for getting lost, breached, or altered. EHRs minimize many of those risks by requiring a password and login to obtain access. Patient records in EHRs are also kept organized in one easy to retrieve place which eases workflow and therefore, the efficiency of care provided to these women. Many EHRs also allow the communication between provider and patient via a “patient portal”. Women can easily communicate concerns, questions, or updates easily which is comforting is many ways to these women.

A research study performed in 2015 looked at the mean depression scores pre and post intervention in a telephone-based support program for women with PPD (Milani, Azargashb, Beyrahgi, Defaie, & Asbaghi, 2015).  The results from this study showed that women who received telephone-based support has noticeably smaller rates of depression than women who did not receive telephone support. This study proved that support offered through telephone has a positive effect on reducing PPD. It is studies like this that prove the positive effect of technology on enhancing maternal mood and mental health. It is important to follow research trends to stay current on evidence-based practices to provide best care and produce optimal outcomes for this population.


Chatterjee, R. (2020). Women’s mental health at key stages in life: A lifeline for doctors helps them treat postpartum depression. NPR. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/01/15/794943944/a-lifeline-for-doctors-helps-them-treat-postpartum-depression

Millani, H. S., Azargashb, E., Beyraghi, N., Defaie, S., & Asbaghi, T. (2015). Effect of telephone-based support on postpartum depression: A randomized controlled trial. Int J Fertil Steril, 9(2), 247-253. doi: 10.22074/ijfs.2015.4246

2 thoughts on “Week 11: Impact of Technology Innovation: Including Data & Privacy

  1. EHRs are an effective way to increase screening and treatment of postpartum depression. Advancements in the technology world have affected the way that healthcare is now being delivered. Having access to a patient portal through an EHR system is a great way to connect both providers and patients. I think some women who experience postpartum depression may feel more comfortable reaching out and expressing their concerns about baby blues via portal because they can discuss this with their provider in a non-intimidating way. Studies have shown that incorporating technology into postpartum depression screening can have positive effects. 90% of mothers participating in web based postpartum education sessions with a coach after birth are less likely to have postpartum depression symptoms at 6 months (Shoery, Chee, Ng, Lau, Dennis, & Chan, 2019). Technology has an important role in healthcare and can help increase screening and treatment of health care conditions. This has an especially applicable role in addressing postpartum depression.

    Shorey, S., Chee, C. Y. I., Ng, E. D., Lau, Y., Dennis, C.-L., & Chan, Y. H. (2019). Evaluation of a technology-based peer-support intervention program for preventing postnatal depression (Part 1): Randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(8), e12410. https://doi.org/10.2196/12410


  2. It’s funny, electronic health records (EHR) are so ubiquitous that I forget to think of them as being a technological innovation. It is incredible how important EHRs are to modern medical practices and hospitals. I can’t imagine maintaining the records and the privacy that we do without the use of EHRs. I also appreciated your mentioning telephonic encounters for post-partum depression. As healthcare continuous to evolve, it seems that telemedicine will become ever more prevalent. The good news is that there was a recent amendment to the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). This change, effective October 2019, expands telemedicine coverage for mental and behavioral health issues.1 In theory, this should allow this technological advantage to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of post-partum depression for Arizona mothers. This is especially true during these unique COVID-19 circumstances we find ourselves living in.
    Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. (2019, October 1). 320-I telehealth. https://www.azahcccs.gov/shared/Downloads/MedicalPolicyManual/300/320-I.pdf


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