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, Advanced Metrics Home Visiting Software has been easily utilized by home visitors, supervisors, and administrators statewide. Learn more about the outcomes being reported by Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs.
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), Parents as Teachers (PAT), 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. These agencies 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 may miss important developmental milestones.
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, 22 tribal communities, and over 50 percent of U.S counties (NHVRC, 2021). 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 in 2020 (NHVRC, 2021). Of the more than 3.2 million home visits provided, nearly 1.5 million were virtual visits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, allocated additional funds to home visiting and MIECHV will distribute these funds to help programs continue and expand services, meet families’ basic needs, address the well-being of their workforce, and beyond (NHVRC, 2021).
Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs are implemented in