The Baby Steps program provides assistance with the transition of care, from hospital to home, for infants who received NICU services and their caregivers. The overarching goal of the Baby Steps model is to provide holistic, nurse-led telehealth support to caregivers and infants during the difficult period of transition. The program aims to close the gap in providing neonatal intensive care during the transition from hospital to at-home care.
Nurses are instrumental in preparing individuals to make a smooth transition from the NICU to the home or a community setting. Baby Steps model uses telehealth as a method of support between NICU nurses, caregivers and the infant once the family is discharged from the hospital. Through telehealth, NICU nurses are able to assess the home environment, follow-up on health recommendations, act as liaisons to ensure access to specialized care, and provide information on evidence-based safety and Baby Steps services. This includes guidance on everything from human milk and lactation support, to safe sleeping environments and reduction of risks associated with sudden infant death syndrome.
The program serves all patients, including those who face cultural as well as socioeconomic barriers in receiving equitable, quality, and stable access to medical health services. Our telehealth app is available in multiple languages, with a bilingual NICU nurse and virtual interpreter. All Baby Steps services are provided free of charge to limit financial barriers.
Baby Steps is available to all infants and their adult caregivers who: 1) receive care in the NICU; 2) are discharged to a home setting in the community; and 3) reside within the state of Florida.
In the first three years of the program, close to 700 infants and caregivers have been enrolled in Baby Steps, spanning the state of Florida. Significant reductions in readmission and unplanned emergency care use in the first month after discharge were noted for patients who received services.
For more information about Baby Steps, please contact Danielle Sarik, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, Nicklaus Children’s Director of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice. Email: email@example.com
Special thanks to our supporters for making this program possible!