The delivery of health care is changing in this country. There’s more coordinated, team-based care and more patient involvement and engagement. One program that’s happening right here in Portland is worth mentioning – the Providence Maternal Care Clinic.
What makes this different from traditional care models? Instead of having an individual visit with an ob/gyn or nurse, expectant parents receive a continuum of team care led by a nurse-midwife that’s coordinated with an obstetrician, nurse, doula, pediatrician, social worker and patient navigator. Certain routine office visits have been replaced with two-hour group sessions that include a nurse midwife, doula, and patient navigator. Although essential screenings are provided, like blood pressure and fetal heartbeat, much of the time is devoted to education and information sharing. Experienced moms engage with soon-to-be first-time moms and dads and share their insights, which can range from what to pack for the hospital to coping with challenging situations.
Although this type of care might not be for everyone, this model has proven to be successful for Providence. When comparing the outcomes of Maternal Care Clinic deliveries with the average outcomes of all deliveries at Providence Portland Medical Center, it’s been reported that caesarean section rates have dropped from 32% to 20.6%; epidural use in vaginal deliveries has dropped from 85% to 47.5%; and prenatal care costs have been reduced by 15%. What’s also noteworthy is that patient satisfaction is over 98%. Due to the success of this model, it’s recently expanded to another Providence site and might soon be offered at a third site.
Providence is not the only organization using group models. Both Legacy Health Systems and Oregon Health & Science University have also successfully developed their own programs. All three groups should be commended for delivering medical care in new ways. InnovaHealth Innovations salutes all practices and clinics that are working hard to carry out new ways of delivering healthcare.