Report On First Steps Internship
Mission and Vision
The intent of First Steps mission is “To stop child abuse and neglect of all forms in Henry County”. First Steps vision is “To have a community in which no child is every abused or neglected, and believe that with the help from public policy makers and corporate partners, that this idea can be made a reality”. First Steps is a signature program under the umbrella of Prevent Child Abuse Henry at Piedmont Hospital Henry. It is directed by program Mrs. Robin Jones who has been the program coordinator since the implantation in 1997. Located in the Family Care Center on the Mother and baby floor, First Steps is a primary child abuse program that uses trained volunteers and interns to offer emotional support, current parental information and referrals of community resources to concerned parents.
As an intern I would complete initial individual visits with multiple families that delivered at Piedmont Hospital Henry. These visits include giving families important information on a variety of subjects including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Safe Sleep, Shaken Baby Syndrome, breastfeeding, child development, Postpartum Depression and infant safety. In addition, I would provide a community resource guide that includes economic assistance, medical assistance, transportation and support groups, as well as referrals to community programs or services. I also performed First Steps screening from the Department of Health to gather statistical data on the families. During initial visits I would offer telephone follow ups once a month for the babies first two months to address any concerns and to see if parents have scheduled well child visits and immunizations. I provided administrative assistance such as filling bags with resources and information for the families, check patient charts for background information, and assist in keeping of records and forms completed.
Prevent Child Abuse
Henry is currently planning fundraisers such as Fore the Kids Golf Tournament and Dancing with the Stars Henry County and all the proceeds will stay in Henry county to support different programs such as First Steps, Darkness to Light and other prevention efforts. First Steps collaborates with other community organizations to help make Henry county a safer place for children and their families. First Steps collaborates with Positive Parenting which is a home visitation program designed to support young parents between the ages 12-25 that live in Stockbridge or McDonough, Georgia. First Steps helps to strengthen protective factors such as nursing and attachment, knowledge of parenting and child development, parental resilience, social connections. Issue or Project On December 31, 2017 the largest obstetrics and gynecology facility in Henry county Eagle’s Landing Obstetrics and Gynecology facility policy changed where they no longer accept Medicaid insurance plans.
The providers at Eagle’s Landing obstetrics and gynecology are affiliated with Piedmont Hospital Henry which has affected the number of mothers and families who deliver at Piedmont Hospital Henry. Due to the change in medical coverage expectant parents and families have sought out OB/ GYN facilities or providers at other facilities in Henry County or other counties that will accept Medicaid insurance. Most of those providers at other facilities are affiliated with other hospitals such as Emory University Hospital, Southern Regional hospital or Grady Memorial. Since a large population of mother’s are on Medicaid this has affected the First Steps program by drastically decreased the number of families seen who can be provided with support services, community services or programs and basic necessities. A study by Sonchack (2015) evaluated the impact of state-level Medicaid reimbursement rates for obstetric care on prenatal care utilization across demographic groups as well as the importance of prenatal care on birth weight. Since federal agencies do not oversee Medicaid rate settings, states have considerable flexibility when deciding how much to reimburse physicians for treating Medicaid patients. The results indicate that “a 10% increase in reimbursement rates raises the number of prenatal visits by approximately 0. 11 for black disadvantaged mothers and 0. 07 visits for white mothers in the same demographic group”. The study also showed that “for white disadvantaged mothers, an additional prenatal visit yields an increase in birth weight about 21-24g and the case of black disadvantaged mothers, I find little evidence of beneficial effect of prenatal visits on birth weight”. The results show that prenatal utilization will increase if the there is an increase in Medicaid reimbursement to physicians.
The best solution for the First Steps is to reach mothers that have been affected by the Medicaid reimbursement loss at Eagle’s Landing OB/ Gyn. First Steps should expand to smaller facilities or hospitals were the program is not implemented. Facilities such as Pediatrician offices, Children’s Hospitals, or the Department of Health to be able to reach families who have infants to 5 years old. Also, collaborating with other fellow organizations that pertain to preventing child abuse and attending health care fairs or conferences to give the program more exposure.
Conducting a SWOT Analysis will give First Steps a full perspective of where the program stands and provide this program with the necessary tools and material necessary to their mission and vision and allow the program to measure its progress. The table below is the SWOT analysis for First Steps. First Steps strengths come from the fact that Mrs. Robin Jones has been the program coordinator of First Steps at Piedmont Hospital Henry in 1997 and has built a strong connection with staff over the years as well as the community as well as giving current parental information and support. Opportunities that this program has is because of expertise with child abuse.
Healthcare Regulations and/or Compliance Requirements
First Steps program complies under the same requirements as Piedmont Hospital Henry. First Steps complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountably Act. First Steps is committed to maintain confidentially of patient, personnel, and other proprietary information in accordance with applicable legal and ethical standards. First Steps service providers will not discuss matters that parents or hospital staff share with them or anyone outside of the First Steps program. Det Norske Veritas and Germanischer Lloyd (DNV GL) is an international accredited registrar and classification society that is a consulting firm that focuses on improving quality and safety in many industries including maritime, oil and gas, energy, life sciences, business assurance and healthcare. DNV GL utilizes the National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organization (NIAHO) standards that include interpretive guidelines and surveyor guidance document that is based upon Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services and conditions of participation and state operations, manual regulations and interpretive guidelines for hospitals. Piedmont Hospital Henry participates in Medicare and Medicaid program and are expected to comply with current conditions of participation. Under NIAHO Piedmont Hospital Henry is in compliance with International Organization for Standardization (ISO)9001: 2015 Quality Management system that reflects organizations long term commitment to quality, transparency and customer satisfaction.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. As a First Steps service provider we have to make sure that our immunizations are up to date, that we are not to touch or hold infants in any First Steps visit because infants are vulnerable to viruses and bacteria as well as receiving our annual flu shot. Also, First Steps complies with Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse. First Steps service providers are legally required to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect to the relevant authorities.
First Steps internship has provided a pathway to develop necessary skills and real-life perspectives to become health care manager. Also, I gleaned information about different careers in the healthcare sector that I could consider. I gained knowledge on how to conduct interviews, present referrals to community programs and services. My goal is to have a successful career as a healthcare manager. In order to accomplish my goal, I plan to focus my direction in the area of pediatrics by applying to careers in Children’s hospitals, family practices, or rehabilitation centers for children.
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