Benchmark attainment by maternal and child health clients across public health nursing agencies

Public Health Nurs. 2012 Jan-Feb;29(1):11-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2011.00967.x. Epub 2011 Oct 11.


Objectives: Benchmark client outcomes across public health nursing (PHN) agencies using Omaha System knowledge, behavior, and status ratings as benchmarking metrics.

Design and sample: A descriptive, comparative study of benchmark attainment for a retrospective cohort of PHN clients (low-income, high-risk parents, primarily mothers) from 6 counties.

Measures: Omaha System Problem Rating Scale for Outcomes data for selected problems. Benchmark measures were defined as a rating of 4 on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).

Intervention: Family home visiting services to low-income, high-risk parents.

Results: The highest percentage of benchmark attainment was for the Postpartum problem (knowledge, 76.2%; behavior, 94.0%; status, 96.6%), and the lowest was for the Interpersonal relationship problem (knowledge, 21.7%; behavior, 69.0%; status, 40.7%). All counties showed significant increases in client knowledge benchmark attainment, and 4 of 6 counties showed significant increases from baseline in behavior and status benchmark attainment. Significant differences were found between counties in client characteristics and benchmark attainment for knowledge, behavior, and status outcomes.

Conclusions: There were consistent patterns in benchmark attainment and outcome improvement across counties and family home visiting studies. Benchmarking appears to be useful for comparison of population health status and home visiting program outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benchmarking / methods*
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Home Nursing / methods
  • Home Nursing / standards*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Welfare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Minnesota
  • Pregnancy
  • Public Health Nursing / standards*
  • United States
  • Young Adult