Delaware General Health District Newborn Home Visitation Program

Delaware General Health District Newborn Home Visitation Program

Following on from our previous article about Safe Sleeping, we thought we’d take this opportunity to talk about how one Public Health Agency uses Nightingale Notes to help them identify newborns at risk from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and educate parents.

Background

In 2015, the Delaware General Health District (DGHD) initiated a free of charge Newborn Home Visitation Program, which sees a qualified DGHD public health nurse visit new parents.

This service is available to all parents of newborns, including adopted and foster infants living in Delware County.

Using Nightingale Notes, DGHD would be able to capture, analyze and understand the findings, and make suitable recommendations based on the data.

What were the initial goals of this program?

This program had many goals, including:

  • Improving home environments for infants and mothers
  • Identifying maternal and infant health issues needing medical attention, such as:
    • Feeding issues
    • Maternal infections
    • Post-partum depression
  • Identifying risk factors needing additional community support
  • Providing essential health education on:
    • Baby safe sleep environment
    • Nutrition
    • Safety
    • Growth and development
    • Routine preventive medical care including immunizations
  • Preventing obesity for mother and child through breastfeeding and healthy eating education
  • Using data to support the need for post-partum newborn home visits as a best practice for potential community program funders

What was the biggest area of concern?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for infants.

The CDC reports that there were 3,700 Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths in 2015.

Creating a safe sleep environment is proven to reduce the risk of SIDS, and so the Delaware General Health District wanted to evaluate babies’ home sleep environments to help redice the risk of SIDS.

DGHD public health nurses conduct a pre and post ‘Knowledge, Behavior and Status’ (KBS) check to assess each child’s home sleeping environment and note any other areas of concern.

What were the results?

During the first month, (6/15/2015 to 7/15/2015), there were 7 Newborn Home Visit Clients that had KBS entries for:

  • Safe Sleep Environment of Infant
  • Teaching, Guidance & Counseling

DGHD were able to help these clients learn and understand more about creating and maintaining a safe sleeping environment, and educate them with teaching, guidance and counselling.

What else did the home visits uncover?

As well as helping new parents, these public health nurse visits also identified several clients who would benefit from additional help and support.

These people may not have realised that other help and support was available, and so may have carried on as they were, potentially putting themselves  or their children at risk of other health conditions.

Conclusion

We were delighted to hear about how DGHD used Nightingale Notes during their public health nurse visits to improve baby sleep safety, nutrition and many other areas of potential concern for parents and healthcare providers alike.

Part 3 will discuss the project in more detail.

About the Author:

Nicole has worked at Champ for over a decade, and is the Chief Operations Officer, and oversees all the day to day operations here. When she’s not spending time at work with her Champ family, Nicole and her husband Jake, and their 3 kids, Allison, Isaac, and Jacob, enjoy camping, hiking, biking, swimming, as well as running to volleyball, basketball, and football camps and games.

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