What Is Patient-Centered Prenatal Care And Why Does It Matter?

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We have all been there. The frustrating back-and-forth, misunderstandings between us, the obstetrician, and those who make the policies of how things are done (i.e. health insurance). So, the idea of the patient’s individual health needs and desired health outcomes is the driving force behind all healthcare decisions and quality measurements. This is the benefit of patient-centered prenatal care; however, there is a “lack of agreement on what exactly it consists of and how clinicians should deliver it for the benefit of their patients.”

Over the last few years, patient-centered care has taken a rise in popularity among the health care field. “Evidence shows that practicing elements of patient-centered care can produce favorable outcomes such as reduction in the utilization of health care services and related costs, improvement in patient and family satisfaction with care, increased patient adherence to medication regimen, and a reduction in decisional conflict between patients and clinicians.” It is important to understand how obstetricians approach patient-centered prenatal care so that it may help us to ensure that clinicians and policy makers understand each other’s perspectives.

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patient centered care

The building of a relationship between the obstetrician and women is central to patient-centered prenatal care.

“Investing in the beginning and really creating [a] relationship with my patients is extremely valuable.”  Obstetrician

“it really is about that one-on-one and that focusing and, you know, sitting down right in front of them and being there.”  Obstetrician

“it always feels good to me when I know that a patient understands… the information that I’m trying to give her.”  Obstetrician

“So, it’s a balance between having an idea and vision for what they want and giving me a little bit of trust in knowing that I’ve done this many times and that I’m not out to foil their plan”  Midwife

Being able to provide individual, appropriate prenatal care was very important to being patient-centered.

“on an individual basis, I think patient-centered care involves … humanizing the patient, and then getting … what she needs out of the situation.”  Obstetrician

“care that suits their needs, that is appropriate for them, medically. But also, I guess, socially or socioeconomically” Obstetrician

“I think elective Caesarean.. by maternal request for no indication,..I think that’s bad medicine…So, on that one,.I don’t think patient-centered care is about providing poor care.”  Midwife

“a good birth is a birth where the woman feels like she was listened to and that she thought it was a good birth – not that I necessarily thought it was a good birth; that she thinks it’s a good birth…that’s patient-centered care”  Midwife

“You can have patient-centered care, but still have everyone sort of unhappy about it. So you know, someone that comes in and refuses, like, refuses monitoring at all, makes everybody nervous.”  Midwife

Being able to engage with the woman’s family and support network is relevant in providing patient-centered prenatal care.

“a way of being patient-centered and involving the family members is identifying from the patient what role she wants her family members to play, and then facilitating that role.”  Family Physician

“Sometimes we have people’s partner [who] doesn’t want them to get pain relief… and I’ll just say, “You know, it really needs to be her answer,” you know?”  Midwife

“I mean, we – I had no help on that end [psychiatric care]. And I didn’t know who to contact…they [insurance companies] don’t tell us, “If you have a patient that has this, this is where you go.” We don’t have that.”  Physician Assistant

Ultimately, all clinicians agreed that building a good relationship with the expecting mother is at the heart of their understanding patient-centered prenatal care. It was developed through “information transfer and trust and understanding and involving women and their family in their medical care.”

This is where we at Jollitot can help. Our platform is able to communicate this information between patient, doctor, and family. 

With our ThriveBaby app, the expecting mother tracks, monitors, and receives valuable insights about her pregnancy. 

With OB Connect, the doctor gets information on how their patient is actually doing outside of the office and can monitor risk, compliance, and provide their patient relevant information about their pregnancy directly to the ThriveBaby app. 

Contact Us today to learn more.

Adams, Ted, Sarnak, Dana, Lewis, Joy, . . . S., S. (2018, December 02). What Do Clinicians Who Deliver Maternity Services Think Patient-Centered Care Is and How Is That Different for Vulnerable Women? A Qualitative Study. Retrieved from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jp/2018/5853235/

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