In late 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris issued a nationwide Call to Action to help improve health outcomes for parents and infants in the United States. In this Call to Action, Get Well partner CommonSpirit Health was spotlighted for its contributions and outcomes in maternal health.
Get Well is committed to helping to close the gap in maternal health with digital technology, as the CommonSpirit Health work demonstrates. From using community-based navigators to offering personalized patient engagement that provides resources for individual patients according to their own specific needs, we’re tackling this issue of equity in healthcare head-on.
In recognition of Mother’s Day and the many mothers and babies impacted by patient engagement each day, we wanted to share how we’re doing our part to support mothers across their care journeys, whatever those may look like.
Taking a closer look at maternal health
Every day, all across the world, mothers and babies are in need of healthcare services — inpatient care, social services and resources, and long-term care for a postpartum condition to name just a few. However, women in the United States are more likely to die from childbirth than women living in other developed countries, which is why preventing pregnancy complications and maternal deaths and improving women’s health before, during, and after pregnancy is a goal under Healthy People 2030.
Too often, this population is overlooked. Maternal mortality rates in the United States are 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, with wide gaps between racial and ethnic groups. Black women, for example, are three times more likely to die of complications from childbirth than white women. Non-clinical resources — food banks, transportation, mental health and substance abuse referrals — can be out of reach for many mothers, with scarcity cutting across all races, ethnicities, ages, and income levels.
But providing needed support and services at the right time can make a significant difference in the maternity care experience. In fact, 60% of maternal deaths are preventable and can be partially addressed through social services and care coordination. Let’s take a closer look.
Working toward health equity with CommonSpirit Health
Recognizing the importance of ensuring high-quality maternal care, CommonSpirit Health partnered with Get Well, to offer personalized navigation for the Medicaid population, with a focus on maternal patients. The organization’s work with Get Well illustrates how hospitals and health systems can use technology to improve care quality and access for all.
The consumer navigation solution program has supported tens of thousands of mothers and babies since December 2020. The team has seen high engagement rates across race and ethnicities; for the CommonSpirit Health maternal/child health program, the bidirectional engagement rate is greater than 60% for groups like Black/African American, white, Asian, and Hispanic mothers. This high patient engagement is helping drive health equity for many of the vulnerable populations cared for by CommonSpirit Health.
The program uses a blend of technology and human services to identify barriers to care at the individual level, and then helps personalize that support so mothers are getting connected to the right healthcare and community resources to address their own needs.
These human and digital touchpoints make all patients feel seen and heard. “It’s great that now I have a person I can call with all my questions,” one first-time mother in California stated. Another new mother agreed, saying that “From the phone calls prior to my surgery, and postpartum follow-up texts, it made me feel so special.”
And the results are proving out: The Get Well and CommonSpirit Health program has been shown to help lower the rate of preterm births and decrease the average hospital length of stay for mothers and NICU babies, with many of the biggest gains being delivered to populations that traditionally see the largest health disparities.
The success of this program has led CommonSpirit Health to expand the partnership to more than 60 new facilities in 11 states across the country.
Supporting mothers and babies with GetWell Loop
GetWell Loop also offers support and engagement for mothers beyond the four walls of the hospital. From a prenatal Loop care plan meant to prepare and set expectations for birth to a post-delivery Loop that aids in comprehension, satisfaction, and compliance, GetWell Loop’s maternal offerings bookend an inpatient stay, providing reassurance to mothers every step of the way.
The 32-week long prenatal Loop care plan introduces what patients can expect during each trimester — such as physical changes and fetal growth and development — and offers reminders for things like follow-up care and nutrition needs. It also offers information on birth planning, pain management, and more, as well as postpartum resources and guidance on newborn care.
The support continues after a mother is discharged, with four different care plans designed to speak to the immediate needs of both mother and baby. Covering topics like Cesarean section, vaginal delivery, and pre-eclampsia, these care plans convey important information about postpartum medical, emotional, and follow-up care.
These Loop care plans encourage and support new moms at the time when they need it most, on a device that is familiar, with plain language and a friendly tone.
The bottom line
There’s no better time than Mother’s Day to assess the work that’s being done to support mothers and babies and focus on what’s really important: ensuring the care they get is top notch and that any outcomes are long lasting.
Get Well is committed to supporting maternal populations before, during, and after their hospital stays, making sure that at every step of the way, they feel cared for, heard, and valued. The health and well-being of mothers, infants, and children helps determine the health of the next generation, making efforts to improve maternal care essential for today’s maternal patients and for the ones yet to come.