Essentia Health is leading the country in the robust use of virtual video visits to ensure the high quality of care that our patients have come to expect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These visits are well received by obstetric patients who are happy to stay home and not venture into the hospital or clinic. To meet the needs of our patients and best serve pregnant women, Essentia Health is now conducting curbside vitals appointments to ensure the highest level of care.

“We recognized that there was a gap with our virtual visits in that we are not able to assess fetal heart rate and blood pressures for our OB patients. We looked at the possibilities and decided this was the most seamless option to implement. Our curbside vitals appointment allows us to offer a comprehensive visit without our patients even entering the clinic. So far, this has been very well received and an added assurance of well-being for our patients,” explains Dr. Stefanie Gefroh Ellison, OB/GYN physician at Essentia Health.

Once a patient completes their virtual visit with their provider, they are scheduled for a curbside vitals appointment to check blood pressure and baby’s heartbeat, which are vital elements to gauge mother and baby’s health. When the patient arrives, they drive up to a designated parking space and a nurse and provider come out to their vehicle to complete the check-up. 

Patients are asked to come to this curbside appointment alone in their vehicle and wearing a cloth mask. Staff performing visits are wearing necessary personal protection and taking all safety precautions. The appointments last about five to ten minutes and provide vital medical information as well as piece of mind for patients.

The curbside vital visits are by appointment only and currently offered on Wednesdays and Fridays. Availability will increase with demand and always be offered weather permitting.

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