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Nurse Home Visits Save Money…and Lives

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, August 20th, 2015

Home visiting programs lead to dramatic savings in emergency care for infants, according to a study at 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. For a relatively small investment, the reward was significant. Participating families visited the ED less often than control-group families and had fewer overnight hospital stays.

Home Nurse Visits Save MoneyThe 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, the researchers noted. In contrast, the Durham Connects program cost an average of $700 per family.

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. Nurses link families who need help with appropriate community services.

Forward thinking hospitals and communities will implement similar programs. To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention visit http://www.leannthieman.com/. Contact me today to discuss SelfCare for HealthCare– my 12-month program that teaches SelfCare to caregivers and saves hospitals money.

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