The Rationale: Medical Need

Dr. Stuart Lovett is a practicing maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist in Berkeley, California. He served as Medical Director for Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley for 25 years. The idea for Mainstream Health grew out of his own experience in dealing with difficult pregnancies.

“I could see that the most effective strategies in perinatal medicine weren’t filtering down to OB doctors everywhere,” he said. “The fact is that there are many guidelines and procedures that have been proven to work, and to work well, but the process of getting them adopted is slow.

“At the same time, the cost of malpractice, which is of course a problem throughout healthcare, is particularly staggering in obstetrical medicine. We believe that malpractice losses amount to about 5% of the entire obstetrics business. In a $16 billion field, that translates to about $800 million each year.

“The goal is to create a company that could address both issues simultaneously: improve the adoption, implementation, and execution of best practices and reduce the malpractice losses associated with obstetrics.”

Dr. Lovett’s concept was to change the process of learning for OB doctors and nurses. “You can give people white papers and articles, and send them to seminars and conferences,” he said, “but the real challenge is to get professionals to incorporate new knowledge into their daily activities. We do that through procedural learning-transforming best practices into actual practices. And we do this by creating an incentive for clinicians to adopt best practices. Our business model is predicated on the idea that clinicians who participate-who learn from our modules and who incorporate our technologies in the delivery room-can reduce their liability insurance premiums. Participants are going to have fewer bad outcomes, and that’s good for all concerned.”