Mayo Clinic improves patient satisfaction, cuts costs with new prenatal care approach

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The Center for Innovation at the Mayo Clinic partnered with Mayo's Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in Rochester, Minn., to develop a new approach to prenatal care. The approach, dubbed OB Nest, was found to improve patient satisfaction and reduce hospital visits in series of experiments conducted at Mayo.

The findings were presented during the 2016 Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which was held from May 14 to 17.

"Traditionally, pregnancy is treated as a sickness," said Yvonne Butler Tobah, MD, a Mayo Clinic obstetrician and lead author of the study. "We wanted our care to reflect the normal, life-bringing event that it is, and [we] looked for a way to transform prenatal care into a wellness, patient-oriented experience."

Participants in the OB Nest study were assigned a specific nurse as their lead contact. They received eight scheduled office visit instead of the typically standard 12 to 14 visits.

"My schedule is very hectic," said Seri Carney, MD, an OB Nest study participant. "It was really nice to only have to go in for my appointments every other month. My husband and I didn't have to worry as often about arranging our work schedules for the appointments."

Participants also received home equipment enabling them to monitor both the fetal heart rate and maternal blood pressure. Additionally, participants were given the option to participate in an online care community with other study participants and nurses from the OB Nest care team.

Abimbola Famuyide, MBBS, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the study's principal investigator, said, "This fulfills the holy grail of what patients expect today...how can we continue to improve patient experience and clinical outcomes, while, at the same time, keep costs down?"

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