Care Paths: A New Approach to High-Risk Maternal-Child Home Visitation

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Abstract

Care paths for the maternal and infant populations are used to define immediate and long-term outcomes related to care received in the home. This article describes a care path developed by public health nurses for intervention with an at-risk maternal-child population in a city/county health department. A public health nursing care management model provided the framework for developing this care path to foster cost-effective use of limited resources. It is crucial that public health nurses articulate clearly the services provided in the home both for those who may seek service and for policy makers who determine funding structure. The project demonstrated that care paths for home visitation involving high-risk prenatal clients are useful tools that streamline documentation, foster consistency and continuity of care, facilitate quality improvement efforts, and provide outcome data.

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