In-home nursing visits reduce ER use for infants

Emergency department service usage among infants in at-risk homes dropped significantly thanks to an in-home nurse visiting program in North Carolina, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers from Duke University, lead by Kenneth A. Dodge, Ph.D., noted a 59 percent reduction in ED services in infants when an in-home nurse visited the newborns for the first six months. The program, which cost the city $700 per family, took place in Durham County, which experiences approximately 3,187 births a year. Almost 85 percent of participants completed the program, but researchers noted the community-wide implementation was small-scale. Researchers said it was unclear whether the program would be as effective in a larger community, but in the small community setting could save up to $6.7 million over the course of the six months, according to an announcement from Duke University. The program was funded with money from the Affordable Care Act to states through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, which reaches out to groups, such as adolescent mothers and residents of tribal reservations. Study