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The staff at Dean Health System in Madison, WI, did extensive planning before embarking on their Prenatal Care Coordination Program for at-risk women. "It took us some time to develop the model, and we did it in collaboration with the community," says Jeanan Yasiri, administrator of service initiatives at Dean Medical Center.
The multidisciplinary planning team includes a clinical obstetrical nurse supervisor, the director of community services and director of advocacy, a perinatologist, a family practitioner, and the vice president of reimbursement. The committee studied other programs, compiled data to determine how many patients might benefit from the program, and formed partnerships with local human service agencies. "We had a physician champion who was dedicated to serving this population," Yasiri says.
During the first year, Kate Piotrzkowki, RN, the program’s case manager, met with physicians and nursing staff in obstetrics and family planning to make providers aware of the program. Yasiri offers the following tips for others who may be considering implementing such a program:
• Make sure that you have the support of your administration.
• Do a financial analysis to determine the feasibility of the program.
• Research whether state- or county-level support exists for the initiative.
• Look at other models for inspiration.
• Consult other experts on how to work with the population and how to develop assessment tools.
• Make sure your advisory committee has a physician champion.
• Keep track of your outcomes so you can quantify the program’s success.