Do you know who controls your new-in-kind obstetrics business? Your patients. Our research shows that 47% of new visits to an OB/GYN were the result of self-referrals. It's no surprise, then, that word-of-mouth recommendations are the No. 1 driver of OB/GYN choice.
One way to drive recommendations and volumes to your obstetrics program is to deliver on patient experience. Mayo Clinic recently tested a program aimed at improving the patient experience by designing a new model of pregnancy care. The program piloted 14 alternative prenatal care options, offered to women with low-risk pregnancies. During the course of the project, the Mayo team derived insights to create a single cohesive model of care, "OB Nest," which is now successfully offered at Mayo Clinic Rochester.
Keep reading for three ways the OB Nest experiments successfully put consumer experience first.
1. Prioritizes convenience
One OB Nest initiative allowed patients to use home measuring equipment and phone visits for a portion of their prenatal care. This reduced the number of patients’ in-person prenatal visits from the standard 12 to just eight, without threatening the safety of their care. Patients were able to conduct appointments from the convenience of their homes, or any setting with a phone, avoiding potentially unnecessary trips to the provider's office.
2. Creates a supportive environment
Another OB Nest initiative created online communities for pregnant women to connect with one another. The online spaces encouraged women to share their pregnancy concerns, questions, and thoughts. In the program, moms were invited to join one of four online spaces. Three of these online communities were extensions of groups that were already meeting in person, while one group was for midwife patients who had never met. The websites were facilitated by OB nurses, a midwife, and two pregnancy advisors, whose roles were to create a supportive environment for participants.
OB Nest further prioritized creating a supportive pregnancy experience by providing a "video-in-a-friend" option at prenatal visits. This allowed women to share their stories with their partners or friends who could not physically be at the appointment.
These initiatives have been quite successful. In fact, one evaluation of the program showed that the combination of at-home monitoring technology with the use of online communities significantly improved patient satisfaction relative to traditional prenatal care.
3. Seamlessly connects OB offerings to the system
To create a truly patient-focused experience, OB offerings should connect to the rest of the system so that women can seamlessly receive any additional care they need beyond their pregnancy. To do this, one OB Nest experiment involved proactively calling patients after three different pregnancy events: miscarriage, post-partum, and visits to triage. The purpose of these calls was to check in with these women to see how they were and if they needed anything from their OB provider. Proactive check-ins like this allow the system to connect patients to any additional required services and also help to keep the provider top of mind.
Next, learn more health care trends to watch for in 2018
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