From 1999 through 2001, researchers at the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation produced and evaluated a screening instrument to identify the care-giving capacities and needs for parenting support services among new mothers in Iowa.
Researchers then pilot tested a system to refer parents, based on these identified needs, to helping services identified through local information and referral databases.
The Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation is an affiliate corporation of the Association of Iowa Hospitals and Health Systems, a voluntary membership organization of hospitals and health systems.
A work group made up of parents, nurses, social workers, human service providers and a pediatrician developed the instrument, a 73-question self-assessment tool.
Project staff worked with an alliance of local information and referral agencies to develop a mechanism to obtain existing community data and to build a statewide resources database.
Staff conducted a preliminary pilot test of the referral system in two Des Moines Hospitals, where a local resource database existed.
Project staff prepared the Iowa OB Discharge Report that analyzed the contents of new parent information packets from Iowa's hospitals with obstetric services.