Ruchala PL; Seibold L; Stremsterfer K
Validating assessment of neonatal jaundice with transcutaneous bilirubin measurement.
Neonatal Netw, 1996 Jun, 15:4, 33-7

In response to current trends in maternity care, nurses are assuming a major role in providing quality care for new mothers and their babies postdischarge through follow-up home care. Jaundice has been identified as the most commonly encountered cause of morbidity among healthy infants during the first week of life, and nurses must possess accurate neonatal assessment skills. Unlike nurses who work in hospital settings, those who provide home care do not have ready access to colleagues for consultation and validation of assessments. The result of unrefined assessment skills of nurses may be requests for unnecessary invasive procedures for infants and, consequently, monetary charges to patients for unnecessary lab work. A quasi-experimental design was used to determine whether the use of a jaundice meter to validate nurses' visual assessments would help them develop more accurate assessments of neonatal jaundice. Findings revealed high correlations between visual scale rankings of jaundice and jaundice meter readings (RS = .85, p < .01). The results of this pilot study indicate that the use of a jaundice meter may be a noninvasive as well as a cost-effective way to validate nurses' visual assessments of neonatal jaundice in the home.