Using a patient navigator to improve postpartum care in an Urban Women's Health Clinic

Lynn M. Yee*, Noelle G. Martinez, Antoinette T. Nguyen, Nadia Hajjar, Melissa J. Chen, Melissa A. Simon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To estimate whether postpartum visit attendance was improved in women exposed to a postpartum patient navigation program compared with those who received care immediately before the program's initiation and to assess whether other postpartum health behaviors improved during the intervention period. METHODS: This is a prospective observational study of women enrolled in a patient navigation program compared with women receiving care before the program. Navigating New Motherhood was a postpartum patient navigation program for adult, English-speaking women receiving prenatal care at a Medicaid-based university clinic. In 2015, Navigating New Motherhood introduced a clinic-level change in which a navigator was hired and assumed supportive and logistic responsibilities for enrolled patients between delivery and postpartum visit completion. We compared medical record data from women who enrolled in Navigating New Motherhood with those of women receiving care in the same clinic for 1 year immediately before Navigating New Motherhood. The primary outcome was postpartum visit attendance. Secondary outcomes included World Health Organization (WHO) Tier 1 or 2 contraception uptake and other health services measures. We conducted bivariable and multivariable analyses. RESULTS: Of the 225 women approached for Navigating New Motherhood participation after program initiation, 96.9% (n5218) enrolled; these women were compared with 256 women in the historical cohort. Most women in both groups were racial or ethnic minorities and all had Medicaid insurance. There were no important differences in demographic, clinical, or health service characteristics between groups, although women in Navigating New Motherhood were more likely to transfer into the clinic for prenatal care and to deliver neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. The primary outcome, return for postpartum care, was more common among women in Navigating New Motherhood (88.1% compared with 70.3%, P,.001), a difference that persisted after adjustment for potential confounding factors (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 3.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.11-6.04). Women in Navigating New Motherhood also were more likely to receive a WHO Tier 1 or 2 contraceptive method (adjusted OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.02-2.38), postpartum depression screening (adjusted OR 2.82, 95% CI 1.79-4.43), and influenza (adjusted OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.38-3.19) and human papillomavirus vaccination (adjusted OR 2.33, 95% CI 1.25-4.33). CONCLUSION: Implementation of a postpartum navigation program was associated with improved retention in routine postpartum care and frequency of contraception uptake, depression screening, and vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-933
Number of pages9
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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