Survivors of violent injuries are at risk for readmission, rehospitalization, and reinjury. In 2017, a novel home visiting nurse pilot program was implemented within a hospital-based violence intervention program (HVIP) to address disparities in care and combat the limited health care literacy and access, and the general mistrust of health care institutions among much of this population.
The purpose of this study was to review the design and implementation of the home visiting nurse component of the HVIP and to report the demographics, clinical characteristics, home care needs, and short-term health outcomes of the pilot sample.
This retrospective study was performed using a cohort of patients presenting to the emergency department at an urban, Level I trauma center for a violent penetrating injury between 2017 and 2018. The χ2 and Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used to compare patient demographics and injury characteristics. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate health outcomes.
Of the 742 victims of violence included in this analysis, the 57 patients enrolled in the home visiting nurse pilot program were more likely to have severe gunshot wounds (68.4% vs. 40.3%, p < .001) requiring hospitalization (80.7% vs. 53.3%, p < .001), with 3.5% requiring rehospitalization within 90 days. The primary interventions provided by the home visiting nurse involved medical navigation and education, wound care, and consultation, underscoring the critical importance of health literacy and outreach for this vulnerable population.
The nurse–advocate partnership provides the foundation for this novel program to aid a marginalized population in overcoming health inequities.