The JJ Way®
The JJ Way® – A Patient-Centered Model of Care
The JJ Way® Model is effective in reducing disparities and improving outcomes because it operates from the premise that every parent who chooses to birth wants a healthy baby and that every parent deserves one.
Additionally, patients and their family supporters are encouraged to operate the same way and are therefore invited in as an integral part of each prenatal visit.
We believe that all people have the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we care for with equitable resources to thrive in community.
What Is The JJ Way®
The key components in our health care delivery are: prenatal bonding through respect, support, education, encouragement and empowerment.
Freedom of Choice: Labor and delivery can take place in any location the birthing person feels most comfortable. We take the fear of un-medicated or out-of-hospital childbirth out of the equation. We work with our physician partners to ensure a smooth transition of care for people who prefer to give birth at the hospital.
Self-Reliance: The birthing person participates as an equal partner, with knowledge presented at their level. We offer practical suggestions that support self- reliance. All along the way, we recognize and acknowledge the birthing parent as completely capable of fulfilling the role of parenthood. Each client carries their own mini-health chart — our prenatal care passport card. Every visit, lab result, and appointment is logged, plus 24-hr contact and signs of premature labor. The client takes their passport card with them to any doctor visits and when they go to the hospital in labor, helping to ensure continuity of care.
Easy Access: From the moment a pregnant person enters the clinic, a team member greets them warmly. This immediate connection is a simple but critical part of the accessibility of the practice. No one is turned away, and this reputation in the community makes it easier for people to take the first step of entering the clinic. Once there, they have access to the entire staff team for questions, support and medical care. They will leave having had a prenatal exam and having established a maternity medical home. Read more about our Easy Access Prenatal Clinic.
Team Approach: Each staff member has a role to play, from the receptionist who greets each client by name when they walk through the door, to the office manager who knows every client. Family members, the parenter, and friends are also brought in as part of the birthing parent’s team. Together all members are engaged in the explicit goal of helping the birthing person achieve a healthy, full-term pregnancy. Weekly staff meetings include every employee, and the team discusses each client. At staff meetings, everyone is kept informed about each client’s situation and is engaged in the case management process and plan. We then work to deliver consistent health messages and expectations. A client often develops a bond with a particular staff member. We capitalize on that special connection by allowing that team member to play a larger role in delivering information and providing support, even if they are not in a medical role. Each team member always has the support and insight of the entire team.
Connection Creation: We work hard to promote prenatal bonding not only between birthing parent and baby, but also with the partner, siblings, extended family, friends, and clinic team members; our team approach builds the social capital of each birthing person, ensuring success beyond their pregnancy and delivery.
Gap Management: The team works together to identify any gaps or barriers the client is facing and begins ‘gap management’ triage. We then work to provide practical solutions based on the real life situation of each person and engage all pertinent team players and outside resources in the process.
Education: We inspire knowledge through alternative approaches to teaching, with peer educators, and by making waiting room time learning time, often in groups with an informal, friendly feel, yet still thorough. Through our ‘gap management’ and team approach, we tailor educational messages and delivery approaches to the clients. Also, we focus on post-partum education, including providing breastfeeding support and family planning information. Knowing that short interpregnancy intervals are associated with low birth-weight and prematurity, we teach people the importance of letting their bodies rest between pregnancies and help them establish a plan for birth control.
Objectives and Goals
The key objectives of The JJ Way® are:
- For pregnancies to reach a gestation of 37 weeks or greater.
- For newborns to have a birth weight of 5 lbs. 8 oz or greater.
- For parents (and their families) to bond well to their babies.
- To start and succeed at human milk feeding.
The JJ Way’s innovative model builds on the strengths of the Midwives Model of Care to reach a population that does not typically seek midwifery services.
The goals of The JJ Way® are:
- To provide a model that is easy to duplicate which allows the healthcare provider to run an efficient, safe and productive system.
- To provide training and organizational systems for medical establishments that wish to improve their patient and employee satisfaction, compliance, and loyalty along with reducing litigation.
- On a corporate/ private level to engage organizations in the value of healthy women and thereby families and the importance of a new approach in providing that information.
- On a community level to engage and educate families, business owners, ‘leaders’ and churches in the urgency of the problem and how they can help to be part of the solution.
Outcomes and Results
Outcomes have improved over the past five years and we are currently conducting a one year research study on the impact of The JJ Way® on improved perinatal health. Prenatal bonding has allowed us to engage not only the pregnant women but their partners, families and supporters as well. It has led to:
- Increased vigilance for risk factors.
- Increased compliance with instructions and appointments.
- Reduced fear of poor outcome and impending harm to mom or baby.
- Increased sense of empowerment and control.
For a minimum ‘up-front’ cost, countless heath care, remedial school care and ultimately criminal justice Dollars have been saved. The ultimate bonus however is the strong, vital connection of a fully bonded mother and baby, a connection which will carry forward into the future of the family, the community and society at large.
In the USA, despite ongoing research and discussion, perinatal health disparities are not improving in any great fashion, and in some areas the gap is actually widening. Newer interventions are focusing on more holistic approaches including looking at stress, environment and life-course approaches. The JJ Way® is a simple, cost-effective model which can be easily emulated and adapted for any practice, and which has the potential to seriously impact the discouraging perinatal statistics that have become all too common.
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