Wellspan Health

A Family Forward Redesign of Obstetric Care

What We Did

  • Defined consumerism for a large regional health system.
  • Engaged patients, providers and administrators together – for the first time to redesign the OB service line.
  • Delivered major findings and service line redesign recommendations, and supported implementation.
Obstetric care is a rarity in medicine—it’s a lengthy, complicated process, but a happy one. By listening to woman & their families, how can we reimagine the process?

The Story

WellSpan Health is a large community health system with more than 15,000 employees, 1,200 employee physicians and six hospitals. They engaged Benjamin & Bond on its first major consumer-centric redesign initiative: a reimagination of the OB experience. The goal was to examine every step and touch in the journey from pre-conception to postpartum care and align WellSpan’s services with the expectations and beliefs of consumers.

Consumerism is new at WellSpan Health. So new, in fact, that the project team from Benjamin & Bond had to define the concept for the organization to guide both this and future projects.

For WellSpan Health, consumerism was specifically defined as “the process of applying the same methods that companies use to create and improve consumer products and services, to the creation and improvement of healthcare services.” We focused the consumerism construct on three tenets: customer understanding, engaged employees and experience design. The Benjamin & Bond team designed an inclusive and consumer-focused research plan to understand the needs of their customers, to learn about the expectations of staff, and to map the service experience journey.

The work was largely qualitative. Primary research was complemented with extensive macro market analysis to understand trends in the industry. We were able to use all of the insight we collected to separate patients into four personae groups further segmented by socioeconomic factors. Focusing on these groups uncovered the importance of factors previously not considered. For instance, we learned that the amount of time expectant mothers can afford to spend driving to appointments plays a major role in choosing a practice.

Following our field research, Benjamin & Bond facilitated a collaborative design session that included a diverse group of project stakeholders. In three cross-functional teams, the stakeholders brainstormed new ideas and service improvement opportunities based on the insight from the research phase. Our team developed those ideas and some of our own into tactical recommendations.

We have continued to support WellSpan Health as the projects move from concept to reality. Many of our tactical recommendations have already been folded into WellSpan Health’s OB services, and our strategic guidance is driving development of new projects with the potential to fundamentally change the local healthcare market.

"Throughout the project, the Benjamin & Bond team enthusiastically encouraged the group to be creative and engage our current customers, co-workers and community in learning what is important for our future. Our organization’s consumer journey continues today due to the partnership we have with Benjamin and Bond—they have ignited a passion for disruption throughout the organization."

Megan Lecas, VP of Women & Children Services, WellSpan Health

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Our projects run the gamut from quick, continuous improvement efforts to complete redesigns of service lines and operational models. The common theme is a proven, scalable approach to problem solving.