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Novick G, Womack JA, Sadler LS. Beyond Implementation: Sustaining Group Prenatal Care and Group Well-Child Care. Journal of midwifery & women's health. 2020 Jul 1; 65(4):512-519.
INTRODUCTION: Group prenatal care and group well-child care (collectively called group care) provide health care in groups. Group care is being introduced in many settings, and the model''s benefits are increasingly recognized. Yet, little attention has been paid to understanding model sustainability. This study examined barriers to sustainability and offers suggestions for sustaining group care programs. METHODS: This qualitative research was guided by interpretive description. Semistructured interviews with 17 professionals were conducted in 4 sites in one community to explore barriers to sustaining group care and key ingredients for sustainability. Sites were 2 clinics that had provided group prenatal care, a clinic currently providing group prenatal care, and a clinic currently providing group well-child care. Two clinics have continued providing group care and 2 have discontinued it. Participants included midwives, physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and entered in ATLAS.ti. A priori and inductive coding schemes were developed; code content was compared across individuals, participant types, and settings. RESULTS: Five themes were identified: administrative buy-in, robust recruitment, clinician and staff buy-in, owning it, and sustainability mindset. Group care needs to be sold to many different constituencies: administrators, staff and clinicians, and patients. Furthermore, sustainability requires having a conscious awareness of the importance of sustainability from the outset, taking ownership by adapting group care to needs of settings, creating venues for expressing divergent viewpoints and problem-solving, and recognizing that these processes are ongoing with change occurring incrementally. It also includes addressing the need for long-term financing. DISCUSSION: Those implementing group care must be prepared to go beyond managing the logistics of introducing a complex new program; they must also be prepared to develop sustainability mindsets, sell the model to everyone on all levels within their institutions, and advocate for enhanced reimbursement for group care and value-driven payment systems.