- Bridget Beachy, PsyD, Director of Behavioral Health, Community Health of Central Washington, Yakima, WA
- David Bauman, PsyD, Behavioral Health Education Director, Community Health of Central Washington, Yakima, WA
- Caitlin Hill, MD, Interim Residency Program Director, Central Washington Family Medicine Residency, Yakima, WA
“It is extremely vital to care for women’s mental health during pregnancy and after childbirth during these unprecedented times (Usmani et al., 2021, p.1).” Perinatal mental health concerns for pregnant persons were already common and have only become more prevalent during the Covid-19 global pandemic (Farrell et al., 2020). Usmani et al. (2021) concluded that it is imperative to continue to think of ways for the healthcare system to address maternal health services during the pandemic. Spurred by an obstetrics (OB) physician who noticed Yakima County was particularly struggling with its maternal health with regards to substance use disorders, obesity related complications, interpersonal violence and high rates of smoking, Community Health of Central Washington (CHCW) created a pathway to help support pregnant persons. CHCW’s already established and robust PCBH service was fertile grounds for this innovation (Reiter, Dobmeyer & Hunter, 2018) and supported the focus of high productivity for the BHCs (Martin, Bridges & Cos, 2021). In 2018, CHCW launched this “initial OB” visit pathway for BHCs to increase their involvement with perinatal patients. This pathway proved to be enormously helpful for what would hit just two years later – the pandemic. CHCW saw this as an opportunity to continue to strive for support for this vulnerable population, and more currently attempts to answer Usmani et al.’s call for addressing maternal mental health. As Usmani et al. further explained and relevant for providers working in family medicine, “the mental health impacts of the pandemic are of great concern in postpartum women as it affects the wellness of not just the woman herself but the family and her children,” (p.9). This presentation addresses this year’s theme across many fronts including highlighting the work of the frontline workers who are taking care of OB patients. Additionally, and in light of the pandemic worsening the already pervasive experience of burnout amongst medical providers and taking into account there is some research that supports team-based care can help to mitigate burnout (Dillon et al., 2020; Zubatsky, Pettinelli, Salas, & Davis, 2018), we describe a team-based approach to caring for perinatal patients. This presentation is salient for anyone working in healthcare settings that provides OB services as well as family medicine and pediatrics. Specifically, in this presentation we present a program evaluation of this pathway. Metrics will be provided on number of OB initial visits we have conducted over the past four years as well as the number of unique patients served. We will also provide qualitative depictions and accounts from CHCW’s physicians, OB staff, patients and BHCs alike.
- Describe the workflow that was utilized for an OB pathway and name at least two reasons for implementing this workflow.
- Report metrics (e.g., penetration rate, number of OB initial visits rendered, etc.) related to this OB pathway.
- Describe the perception of the OB pathway for patients, PCPs, OB staff and the BHCs themselves.