Zika Care Connect: Establishing a Provider Network for the Management of Zika Virus [5K]

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Access to healthcare providers with expertise in managing women with Zika virus exposure during pregnancy is critical to ensure appropriate and coordinated care, and to optimize the prenatal identification of potentially affected infants. Early diagnosis and prompt initiation of care for infants and families has the potential to mitigate the long-term impacts of Zika. Additionally, mental health services can provide support to affected families.

METHODS:

In 2017, the Zika Care Connect (ZCC) program established a provider network by identifying and enrolling providers with expertise in the management of Zika virus. ZCC engaged professional healthcare associations, health departments, and healthcare systems in 20 at-risk jurisdictions, selected based on the distribution of known Zika virus cases. Providers were contacted by phone to gauge willingness and interest; these providers could voluntarily self-enroll in the network and receive up-to-date information about emerging data on Zika virus.

RESULTS:

As of September 13, 2017, 536 total specialists are enrolled in the network, including maternal-fetal medicine (137) and obstetrics/gynecology (30). Additional specialties are care coordination, developmental pediatrics, endocrinology, infectious diseases, mental health, pediatric neurology, pediatric ophthalmology, and radiology. Data analysis regarding characteristics and geographic distribution of providers, type of practice setting, and ability to offer coordinated care is ongoing.

CONCLUSION:

ZCC establishes a network of specialty providers dedicated to the care of families affected by Zika virus. The network is designed to help families identify local providers and healthcare services, and ensure long-term follow-up. This network can also help primary care providers identify local specialist care.

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