Seven-month Pilot of an Integrated, Continuous Evaluation, and Quality Improvement System for a State-Based Home-Visiting Program
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- McCabe, B.K., Potash, D., Omohundro, E. et al. Matern Child Health J (2012) 16: 1401. doi:10.1007/s10995-011-0905-7
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The objective of this study is to report the findings of a 7-month pilot for an integrated system evaluating a state-wide home visiting program. A cross-sectional study design was used to determine baseline process and outcome measures for Tennessee’s home visiting program which provides services to families, from pregnancy through 5-years-old. Baseline process measures included: time to initiate service after referral; frequency, duration and intensity of visits; completion of continuous assessment; and time from identification of a need to referral. The baseline outcome measures included: needs of eligible services (e.g. developmental screenings, WIC); prenatal care utilization; biological risks (prematurity; low birth weight); tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure; and family planning utilization. During the pilot, 3,794 families were enrolled, representing 68% (± 1.5%) of incoming referrals. Enrollment dropped from 82% (90 days) to 69% (120 days); 52% of the families received a visit every month. Ninety percent of families had at least one full assessment after enrollment; 60% occurred within the first 60 days. Over 92% of outgoing referrals were made within 7 days. Immunization status (70%) is below the state level (80.8%). A quarter of the infants enrolled in the program are low birth weight and premature (state level 9.2%). Current tobacco use by the prenatal population is 16% compared to the state, 19.7%. The HUGS program serves high risk/high need clients and is consistent with other national home visiting models that have shown higher levels of attrition and lower levels of visits than intended by the model.