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Home Visits by Nurses Helps Babies and Budgets

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 19th, 2015

Nurses Home Visits with Baby and MomHome visiting programs lead to dramatic savings in emergency care for infants, according to a study at with Duke University in Durham, N.C.

Infants in the study group had 50% fewer emergency care episodes than other babies in the first year of life, researchers reported.

The study looked at Durham Connects, a program that provides home visits for newborns and their parents. The research scientists found that participating families visited the ED less often than control-group families and had fewer overnight hospital stays.

The results held true a year after birth, well after the nurse’s contact with the family had ended.

The findings have significant cost implications because the price of ED visits and overnight stays often ranges into the thousands of dollars. In contrast, the Durham Connects program costs an average of $700 per family.

In the program, a nurse visits new parents soon after their newborn comes home from the hospital, checks the health of the mother and baby and offers the parents tips on topics such as breast-feeding and child care. Nurses also screen for potential problems such as maternal depression. They link families who need help with appropriate community services. High-risk families were not the only ones who benefited; all families benefited.

Research findings call on hospital leaders to take a deeper look at how staff—primarily nurses—interact with patients and family to improve health and save money. These programs will require more nurses to meet these demands.

To learn the #1 strategy to increase nurse retention and nurse recruitment visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss this easy-to-implement program for your staff.

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