In this session, Estela Tanco, IVF Patient Coordinator at Equipo Juana Crespo, Valencia, Spain has been talking about the process every patient has to go through before starting their IVF journey, what questions you need to ask and how it all works, also if you’re coming from abroad.
Estela Tanco talked about the patient needs demand from fertility clinics in particular. Before patients undergo treatment at a fertility clinic, they need to do long research and preparation to organize their first visit to the chosen clinic. There are many factors that all patients need to consider before choosing a clinic that will be suitable for them and their particular situation. After their research is done, they make first contact with a clinic to obtain information also on the location, prices, opinions, but also first impressions. Once the first contact is made, and the clinic’s staff received all necessary documentation, the staff takes over to organize their comprehensive first fertility online consultation to give a pre-diagnosis and treatment strategy without necessarily having to travel abroad.
At Juana Crespo, the main goal at this stage is to understand and have a clear picture of the patient’s specific needs to design their treatment strategy to ensure fluid communication as well as support throughout the journey. Patients get a designated coordinator who will be their go-to person. Direct communication with different departments is possible, but the patient coordinator will not only give medical care guidance and advice, but will also be the link to an overview of the entire process.
How does the whole process of specialized online medical care in IVF treatments begin? It all starts with the documentation and the patient’s medical records. Once these documents are received by the team member, it is possible to organize the first online medical visit. This first contact is made with a doctor’s nurse who will be a support point for the patients in the clinic in it the medical history is taken into consideration, family history, previous diagnosis, previous treatments, etc., it is very important that the medical history provided is very detailed and it is necessary to provide the details of the previous treatment on medication dose, number of days, levels of hormones, and results.
When all the information has been provided, the medical team will be able to have a broader view of the couple’s current situation, and the doctors will be able to study all the tests and data provided to arrive at an optimum diagnosis and treatment for each couple or patient. After that, a new online visit is then organized together with the doctor and the support nurse, which takes approximately 2 weeks. During this consultation, patients have all the significant information about their treatment and what to follow, depending on the diagnosis, protocol, or instructions. They will have all the information about vitamins to be taken, diet to be followed, recommendations, analysis tests to be carried out, approximate period, prices, and contact information for the clinic and the patient’s peace of mind it is significant to indicate that as a general rule all diagnostic and analytical tests can be carried out in their home countries. They can send it online. Tests can also be done at the clinic or partner centres once the doctor creates your customized treatment, it will be designed according to your specific situation and needs every step of the way.
If we look at the generalized case of a patient who requires treatment including ovarian stimulation and endometrium surgery. The first online visit will be scheduled with the nurse and the second one with the nurse and the doctor. After that, when there is a diagnosis, it’s possible to proceed with the stimulation process, so all guidelines will be organized by telephone or email. The ultrasound scans requested during the simulations are carried out in the patient’s home country, the patient may have to undergo 2 or 3 scans. After that, the patient is asked to come for a visit for an ultrasound scan before the egg retrieval, the scan will be performed plus a hormone test will be done. If everything is ready, the egg retrieval will be organized 48 hours later, therefore, the patient needs to stay for at least 3 days after the retrieval, all necessary diagnostic exams will be requested, for example, the MRI, or Hysterosonography to study what needs to be repaired during the surgery. Then the procedure is organized by telephone or email. All the instructions are provided, and the patient only needs to come on the day of the operation.
It is recommended that the patient remains at the location of the clinic for a couple of days, just in case there is any kind of complications or discomfort. Approximately 2 months after the surgery, the real transfer is organized, the patient comes to the clinic on the day of the transfer and can stay for only that 1 single day, on this day an ultrasound scan is performed in the morning to reconfirm that everything is fine and embryo transfer is done in the afternoon. In total, patients with a highly complex case that requires surgery will need to come to the clinic a maximum of 3 times.
When the patient confirms that she’s pregnant, a complete follow-up is carried out until the 9th week of pregnancy. During that time, 2 or 3 ultrasound scans are requested to control that everything is fine.