National Women’s Health Month seeks to encourage women and girls to make their health a priority. As the month aims to inspire more engagement among women, we’re highlighting one hospital system whose forward-thinking approach to women’s health is driving health outcomes, improving care quality, and earning national recognition.
MemorialCare, a national leader in value-based care and evidence-based medicine with 225 care locations throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties, has had a longstanding commitment to women’s health. The hospital system’s many accolades include Best Breast Centers, Newsweek Top 100 Hospitals, Best Maternity Hospitals, and Best Hospitals in the World. The hospital system and its physicians value scientific research and data, high-level access to clinical trials, breakthrough treatments, and innovative healthcare technologies.
In stride with their tradition of staying on the leading-edge, MemorialCare has partnered with Twistle by Health Catalyst to empower patients with improved insight into their health and a seamless continuity of care.
The specific Twistle pathways adopted by MemorialCare offer women visibility and control of various areas of their health and wellbeing, including a communication pathway that provides better understanding and support of their recovery after a general hospital discharge, a messaging pathway for labor and delivery, as well as one for breast cancer screening and detection.
“It’s vital for patients to be empowered and supported during their medical journey. Providing them with the right information, tools and education, at the right time in their care, allows patients to partner with their providers to make the best decisions for them,” says Liz Acord, vice president, oncology, MemorialCare. “From screenings to treatment, making it easier for patients to engage in their own care is critical to successful recovery and prevention.”
One way that MemorialCare has empowered its female patients in their health and wellness is by providing opportunities to continue communication with their care team once they’re discharged.
“Going through a major health event, whether it be the happiness, yet overwhelming feeling of being a new parent to leaving the hospital after a lumpectomy, it’s understandable all the discharge information is not entirely absorbed or understood by the patient,” says Shela Kaneshiro, chief nursing officer, MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center. “Often there is great excitement in leaving the hospital and getting to go home, but once there, it can be overwhelming to think about the balance of meds and the follow up appointments needed. Having an extra layer of communication to support them once they get home is crucial.”
In a report published online in The BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical trade journal, researchers at Stanford called for more providers to place emphasis on the importance of individual mindsets and social context in healing.
MemorialCare’s consideration of female patients’ mindset and wellbeing can be seen in the follow up it has created for patients with the help of Twistle. The pathway is not only designed to educate patients with HIPAA-compliant text messages and reminders but also provide access to medical professionals – giving each patient continued care and social support from the comfort of their home.
For example, Twistle’s home support program monitors female patients while they’re recovering at home by sending them a brief text message survey to complete. The responses are monitored by nurses who will call to check in with the patient if their feedback suggests they may be getting worse or having trouble managing their recovery at home.
When a patient first replies to the pathway, they receive a phone number that they can use to connect directly with a MemorialCare Telephone Advice Nurse in case they have any medical questions needed to be answered right away.
MemorialCare’s use of this tool can result in significantly improved health outcomes for female patients, as some case studies have shown a 62 percent increase in patients monitored post-discharge and a 28 percent reduction in readmissions after implementing the Twistle by Health Catalyst platform for post-discharge monitoring.
This messaging pathway has enabled MemorialCare to streamline its post-discharge follow up with its female patients so that a wider population of patients is reached, and nurses are able to focus outreach on the most vulnerable patients. This service not only prevents unnecessary hospital visits and readmissions, but also gives patients peace of mind and the freedom to relax and recover where they are most comfortable.
MemorialCare also provides tailored communication to the thousands of postpartum mothers it serves annually – the hospital system’s labor and delivery team welcomes nearly 9,500 babies per year.
The dedication of the hospital system to ensuring every mother receives personalized, high-quality, and compassionate care is apparent at all of MemorialCare’s hospitals that provide maternity services to the Southern California region. Saddleback Medical Center, Orange Coast Medical Center, and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach were all – recognized in 2021 as High Performing in Maternity Care by U.S. News & World Report.
“MemorialCare is uniquely positioned to provide maternity care from the South Bay to South Orange County, whether at the only children’s and women’s hospital in the region or an acute care adult specialty hospital,” says Christine Huff, director, Women’s and Children’s Services, MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center. “Our highly skilled clinicians are dedicated to ensuring every maternity patient receives the high-quality compassionate care they deserve and are accustomed to receiving at MemorialCare medical centers.”
MemorialCare earned these accolades because of its high-quality clinical care and by offering various resources for women, including childbirth education classes for women and families, world class labor and delivery care, postpartum services to address mental health challenges among new mothers, as well as ongoing lactation support for patients.
MemorialCare has furthered these efforts of providing comprehensive care to women by implementing Twistle’s messaging pathway for labor and delivery discharge.
These messages, tailored to provide support for a full-year postpartum, include important communications on topics such as postpartum recovery, healthy postpartum lifestyle choices, mental health, diet and exercise, and return to work concerns, among others.
The messaging pathway also provides support for infant concerns including general infant care, safe sleeping, feeding, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), infant massage, and more.
“Especially for first time moms, there can be general anxiety around infant feeding, ensuring safe sleep and overall infant care – especially those first few nights after leaving the hospital,” says Jennifer Ayala, director, maternal child health services, MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center. “Having a full year of postpartum support through communications would really put new moms at ease and reassure them that they are taking great care of their new baby.”
Twistle’s text-based monitoring has proven to result in significantly improved health outcomes for monitoring mothers post-partum blood pressure. One case study reported remote monitoring drove 91 percent of new mothers to submit at least one blood pressure reading up from the 30 percent of patients who attended postpartum office visits – a 203 percent increase.
Additionally, the pathway can provide healthcare organizations with real-time data about when and how often patients are opening texts, how much time they are spending reading educational information, and how satisfied they are with the content.
This data can then be used to rapidly modify engagement protocols and drive personalized outreach specifically prioritizing an individual’s preferences, values, and needs in all postpartum-related communication.
Over 250,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, but with early detection, successful health outcomes are very possible.
However, many women who don’t receive regular medical care don’t realize they are overdue for a mammogram, a crucial tool for the early detection of breast cancer.
MemorialCare has adopted Twistle’s digital communication platform, to provide automated, proactive, digital communication to female patients based upon their age, history, and other determinants, prompting them to take their breast health seriously.
The breast health pathway’s prompt will remind patients about their mammogram appointments and quickly share results, once available. The ease and tailored communication of this tool provide women the opportunity to take proactive control of their health.
Whether a woman is checking out from a women’s health visit or heading home with her newborn, personalized communication driven by a patient’s unique healthcare history can be a key driver in helping patients feel empowered and supported.
MemorialCare’s use of Twistle helps streamline patient workflows, limit clinician burden, optimize care for patients who need it most, and effectively help MemorialCare’s entire patient population feel valued.