Access to WIC benefits typically requires an in-person visit to a WIC center, however this became a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic due to recommendations for social distancing to minimize and prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, in-person requirements were removed for all visits, except first time enrollment visits, and participants were able to renew their benefits and have nutrition consultations virtually. This reduced the risk of exposure in WIC offices and public transport, and also eliminated logistical challenges associated with in-person visits. This brief presents findings from a rapid-response study examining patient satisfaction and preferences with regard to virtual WIC visits in New York City during the period from July 2020 to October 2020. The study aimed to weigh the pros and cons of phone visits by examining missed appointments, acceptability, and preferences. It found that the “no-show” rate was reduced by 45% during this time, phone appointments were highly rated, and nearly three quarters of participants surveyed preferred virtual visits.
Published: July 2021
Publisher: Healthy Eating Research
Authors: Mclean M, Haynes L, Tkachenko O, Hennessey Z
Supporting the Wake Forest School of Medicine in implementing a WIC referral program within electronic health records to optimize WIC participationThe United States has an ongoing maternal and infant health crisis, characterized by stark disparities. The WIC program could equitably improve health outcomes, but it is underutilized. Identifying strategies for healthcare systems to efficiently connect pregnant patients with WIC is a public health and policy priority. This study will use the electronic health record (EHR) More