Marnie Meylor on Re-Imagining Prenatal Care as a Wellness Experience

Marnie Meylor from the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation spoke on re-imagining the prenatal care experience through service design to focus more on wellness. She was a service designer on the OB Nest Project, designed to de-medicalized the prenatal experience and focus more on wellness.

Her team launched 14 experiments within the practice. They were built around simple technologies that could be implemented quickly to build acceptance from stakeholders.

During pregnancy there are a spectrum of questions that range from curiosity to concern. Some things you research on your own, some you save for your next appointment and some you call in to find an answer immediately.

Unfortunately, the infrastructure of (appointment coordinator, nurse call room) was seen as a barrier rather than a support system. The care navigation was visible to the patient via the phone line. They had to repeat information at each touchpoint.

At Mayo there were structured visits, but no perception of continuity or connection to the OB between visits.

The original pregnancy model was designed around the medical needs of the mother rather than the emotional support for pregnancy. This system was completely inflexible.

There’s a gravitational pull back to the clinic. How do you shift the clinic’s culture from “sick care” to wellness care? De-centralize the Mayo-OB and re-centralize on the Mom. Increase connectedness. Created a new model in collaboration with the care team.

Build transparency around the rhythm of care. Prescheduled visits. Set expectations about the rhythm of care throughout pregnancy. Secure messaging, OB Phone line, online care community, self-monitoring. It’s important not to over-medicalize the process but it also helped to build confidence.

Support communication across the entire spectrum of pregnancy related questions and introduce that support earlier in the interaction and across multiple pregnancies.

This also helps to shift expectations of medical care in other domains.

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