You're a woman planning a family, and you just found out you're pregnant. The natural reaction to this exciting news would be to schedule a doctor's appointment, but a doctor might not see you until you're 12 weeks pregnant — when an ultrasound will reveal your bundle of joy.
Sharp Rees-Stealy's OBGYN department believes newly pregnant women shouldn't have to wait that long.
"We wanted to get women started on this exciting new chapter of their lives as early as possible," says Dr. Gayatri Chhatre, an OBGYN doctor at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group who initiated the program, available at all locations offering OBGYN services.
The department started group visits, which are held once a week with alternating morning and evening times to accommodate schedules. During the visit, a pregnant woman attends a 45-minute presentation that includes:
- How to access the Sharp Rees-Stealy care team
- A FollowMyHealth® overview
- Bios of Sharp Rees-Stealy OBGYN doctors and pediatricians
- What to expect during regular doctor visits
- A detailed outline of prenatal screenings
Patients sign up for their next doctor visit and an ultrasound following the presentation, and then take a tour of the departments they might need during their pregnancy, such as the pharmacy and lab.
Those who have attended a visit rave about its convenience.
"It really helped ease the stress and anxiety I felt early on," says Megan Jacobs, who attended a group visit when she was six weeks pregnant. "I valued all the information, especially what foods to avoid and who to contact with questions during my pregnancy."
The group visits have been such a hit that Sharp Rees-Stealy's OBGYN department will offer them at each of its OBGYN locations by the end of the year.