OB Nest - At Home Prenatal Care - Mayo Center for Innovation - Healthcare Design

OB Nest: Bringing Patient-Centered Design To Expectant Mothers

Post Written By Guest Blogger Megan Zimmerman

Calling all expectant mothers! The Center for Innovation partnered with Mayo Clinic’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to improve how you experience prenatal care. Their project is called OB Nest, and the goal is to improve prenatal care by connecting patients and families with their care team from their home. This patient-centered design will allow the patients to receive direct support from their OB physicians and nurses through new tools and require fewer visits to the clinic.

The OB Nest team, as they are referred to, developed a set of 14 experiments where patients were exposed to new environments and situations. In one of the experiments, pregnant mothers used an app on their phones to text questions or concerns directly to their care team. Researchers used this experiment and the others to understand how patients and providers were impacted by the changes they made. Some of the other environments and situations included online communities for patients, appointments from a distance, patient-driven appointments, and in-home monitoring.

The OB Nest team also identified several barriers that women faced regarding access to their care team between appointments. The women struggled with cumbersome navigation or not knowing who to call when they had a question, and they felt like they weren’t being remembered by the care team. The OB Nest team identified that having a direct link to her care team was important because the expecting mother feels comfortable knowing that her provider is there to answer her questions and that person is invested in her.

Based on what they found, the OB Nest care team identified several goals to improving the experience for expectant mothers. Two goals that stood out to me were that they want to strengthen confidence, autonomy, and self-awareness, as well as increase connection to OB and redefined continuity of care. After they finish their research, the team will introduce their ideas in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mayo Clinic.