Comparison of liaison and staff nurses in discharge referrals of postpartum patients for public health nursing follow-up.
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The purpose of this study was to compare hospital staff nurses to public health liaison nurses in the accuracy and cost of postpartum referrals for public health nursing follow-up in the community. In the before phase of the study, public health liaison nurses assessed 304 mothers to determine the need for a follow-up visit by the public health nurse. In the after phase, staff nurses assessed 326 mothers. Public health nurses, unaware of the identity of the referring nurse and the referral decision, judged whether their visit had been required. Staff nurses correctly identified a higher proportion of referrals requiring public health nurse follow-up than liaison nurses. Although they referred more clients who did not require a public health nurse visit, costs of referrals by staff nurses remained lower.
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