Amplifying Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting Impact: A Software Solution

Advanced Metrics has first-hand experience in how consistent implementation of software and comprehensive data collection can produce measurable, meaningful, and significant outcomes. In support of ensuring the proper measurement of home visiting programs, as recommended by the Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA), Advanced Metrics partnered with experts in the field of home visiting, including a state Department of Health, to build and implement custom home visiting software. This software ensures proper collection of home visiting data according to the home visitor workflow, tracks referrals and immunizations, offers data validation, and increases fidelity to home visiting models. Since its implementation in the fall of 2018, this Home Visiting Software has been easily utilized by home visitors, supervisors, and administrators statewide.

Using Software to Measure the Effectiveness of Home Visiting Programs

Advanced Metrics recognized the need for a software solution that not only supported the workflow of home visitors, but also provided all stakeholders, including administrators and funders, the reporting capabilities required to understand both program effectiveness and accreditation compliance. The multi-disciplinary team at Advanced Metrics then spent months collaborating with experts, attending home visiting conferences, facilitating home visitor focus groups, and meeting with researchers, families, funders, and home visitors in the field. The intel gathered from this research was integral in developing and implementing state of the art home visiting software that supports all home visiting models.

Our software provides a comprehensive centralized location for program data collection and supports the Health Resource and Service Administration recommendation that programs adopt a comprehensive exchange of data. (HRSA, 2020).  Local home visiting agencies are required to report home visiting data to various oversite partners, oftentimes each of which have different database systems and unique data collection requirements and specifications. Collecting the right data and then reporting it in the correct format can be a very heavy burden for home visiting agencies. Using spreadsheets for data collection and tracking is unreliable, the result of which can have implications beyond simple miscalculations.

QUALO Home Visiting Software alleviates the burden of reporting for home visiting agencies in one easy-to-use, scalable, cloud-based system:

The Importance of Data in Evidence-Based Home Visiting Models

The MIECHV program emphasizes that 75% of the federal funding must go to evidence-based home visiting models, meaning that funding must go to programs that have been verified as having a strong research basis (HRSA, 2020). To demonstrate these outcomes, data from home visiting programs needs to be easily collected and properly reported. This data can then be used to inform decision making across funders, models, local agencies and, most importantly, to support families and promote infant and child health and development.

One of the most important considerations when implementing an evidence-based home visiting program such as Healthy Families America (HFA) or Nurse Family Partnerships (NFP) is fidelity to the original approach. Preserving the components that make the original evidence-based home visiting models effective can directly influence the success, or lack of success, of such a program. Increasingly, government agencies are playing a critical role in ensuring the programs that they fund are effective. And they often rely on the expertise of partners when establishing procedures and providing technical assistance to ensure consistent and effective implementation.  (The Pew Charitable Trust, 2016).

Policymakers can support the 23,000 home visitors and supervisors providing evidence-based home visiting service by funding and establishing systems that train staff on the delivery of evidence-based programs and practices (The Pew Charitable Trust, 2016).  Individuals implementing home visiting services must appropriately, and often sequentially, administer screening and assessment tools to the right population in accordance with the evidence-based model. If screenings are not consistent, or if they are improperly administered, home visiting agencies can’t view change over time across multiple agencies. They also can’t make necessary referrals and they may miss important developmental milestones.

The Ultimate Goal: Improving the Lives of Families

Implementing evidence-based models of home visiting with fidelity and collecting data correctly are critical to the success of home visiting programs. Therefore, more and more home visiting agencies choose to rely on software to help manage their workflow and provide outputs that properly illustrate their impact to stakeholders and funders. Accurate home visiting data does more than meet compliance requirements – it enables home visiting agencies and their oversight organizations to make better informed decisions about the services families need. The right data presented in a clear way can lead to improved quality of life for mothers, families, infants, and children. While data quality is critical, the objective of home visiting programs is to provide services and care for human beings. Advanced Metrics is proud to support programs that better the community with agile software that aims to Make Data Human.

What is the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program?

Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV), a federal home visiting program, is an invaluable service with proven positive outcomes for children and families. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program gives pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, the necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn (HRSA, 2021).

Promoting healthy mothers, infants and children is a core component of Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting. The lack of early identification and intervention of potential developmental issues can lead to children experiencing ongoing issues across their lifespans and, ultimately, increase their health care and education costs. Home visiting programs have been shown to improve children’s development and health, as well as school readiness. Home visiting programs can increase parental confidence and decrease child abuse and neglect, maternal depression, and low-weight births. (MIECHV, 2019).

Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs are implemented in all 50 U.S. states, five territories, and 22 tribal communities. Local health departments, community-based organizations, and state agencies work in partnership to administer the MIECHV program and to fully integrate systems of care aimed at improving outcomes for families. In total, home visitors provided 3.2 million home visits to nearly 300,000 families (Home Visiting Yearbook, 2020). In fiscal year 2020, the MIECHV program served over 140,000 parents and children and provided more than 925,000 home visits (Home Visiting Yearbook, 2020).

Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs are implemented in

U.S States

Territories

Tribal Communities