Public defence in Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, MHS Eija Raussi-Lehto

Title of the doctoral thesis: Äitiysneuvolapalvelut ja äitiyshuollon innovaatioiden kehittäminen

Opponent: Head of Department OB / Gyn Jyrki Jalkanen, Keski-Suomen Sairaanhoitopiiri / Keski-Suomen Sairaala Nova, Finland

Custos: Professor Risto Ilmoniemi, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering

Contact details of the doctoral student: [email protected], 0504757006

The defence will be organized on campus.

The doctoral thesis will be publicly displayed 10 days before the defence in the publication archive of Aalto University.

Electronic doctoral thesis

Press release:

Developing innovative service solutions for maternity care

This study describes the quality (structures, processes, outcomes) of municipal maternity healthcare services and the views of healthcare professionals on the organization and development of services by using national research data from all 398 municipalities in mainland Finland in 2008.

Based on the results, the quality of care-paths for pregnant women in need of special support should be developed in order to ensure uniform services. According to the views of doctors, nurses, midwives and managers, the strength of maternity health care services was the multidisciplinary and multi-professional collaboration as well as experienced and knowledgeable professionals. Weaknesses in services included inadequate skills, low birth rates and their effects on maintaining skills. The main challenges of referral-feedback practices were related to non-uniform information systems and obscure processes.

Therefore, the development of maternity health care services should take better account of the use of specialized medical expertise and midwifery skills, the development of family-oriented processes and multiprofessional cooperation between primary care, social services, and specialized medical care.

The theoretical part of the study describes the Biodesign model and provides an example of an innovation process. The case in question is called Solving the Mesh, and the progression of the case is presented in accordance with the steps of the Biodesign process. By concretizing the phased progression of an existing process ranging from needs-assessment to innovation, a new perspective can be given to the need-based development of services.

The reform of maternity care services is timely. The results of the study can be used to develop services that cross traditional organizational boundaries, and to monitor the quality of services. Maternity health care services would benefit from centralized guidance, a convergent nationwide system, midwifery competence, centralization of physician expertise, and consistent monitoring to ensure quality services and reduce customer inequality. The needs-based development of operations can be facilitated by the Biodesign process which addresses the development of service concepts as a systematic, phased model. This study demonstrates how the model can be utilized to develop new, innovative and needs-based service innovations for maternity care.

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