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Prenatal Risk Screens

What is the Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screen?

Florida’s Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screening Instrument is a simple, brief questionnaire that helps identify factors in a pregnant woman’s life and medical and psychosocial factors that might lead to poor pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight, premature birth, fetal/infant death, or developmental delays of the child.

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Community Liaison

If you have any questions please reach out to our community liaison:

Who has to be screened?

Florida State Statute, 383.14 (FAC 64-C) states “The health care provider delivering prenatal services shall assure that a prenatal risk screening instrument is completed and risk status is determined at every pregnant woman’s initial visit.”

What is the Health Care Provider’s Role?
  • Make sure every pregnant woman is offered the confidential Prenatal Risk Screen. Approach the screening in a positive manner and be available to answer questions and correct any misinformation about Healthy Start she may have. The top and bottom portions of the record must be completed.

  • Encourage every pregnant woman to consent to and answer the screening questions.  This is voluntary.  Completion of the questions provides the prenatal care provider with excellent information that will help tailor prenatal care. It assesses potential risks which may allow a woman to have Healthy Start services.  Completion of these questions also helps bring in additional funding to Escambia County for services, whether or not a referral to Healthy Start occurs.

  • Encourage every pregnant woman or new mother to participate in Healthy Start when her answers indicate she is at high risk (a score of 6 or more) or when you think she could benefit from Healthy Start services (please see list of eligibility requirements for referral to Healthy Start in next section). Healthy Start services are for pregnant women who are at risk for an unhealthy pregnancy or baby. Healthy Start services are not income-based. Healthy Start is not a government program. Healthy Start has no affiliation with Department of Children and Families (DCF).

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How Do I Fill in and Score the Screen?

The patient should fill in all questions on the top portion of the screen including questions 1 through 16 and their contact information. If they are consenting to be contacted for services, they must sign and date as well as initial next to "Yes" on the left-hand side. If they do not wish to be contacted they will initial next to "No."

If your patient does not wish to fill out any questions, they must still sign and date under the line stating: If you do not want to participate in the screening process, please complete the patient information section only and sign below.

Regardless of the patient's decision to fill out the screen, providers must fill in the bottom section labeled "Provider Only." If the woman has answered the questions and agreed to participate, she will be contacted by the Healthy Start Program and offered services based on her level of risk. Please do not wait for an ultrasound test to determine EDD. Use Nägeles Method. To obtain the Healthy Start Screening Score, add up the points noted next to the following questions: 1, 2, 6, 11, and 15-21. There is a maximum score of 24.

These screens will be picked up by our Community Liaison, Lakeila Robertson, on a weekly basis. 

What Does “High-Risk” Mean?

Risk factors include physical, social or medical factors in an individual’s life that increase risk for having or developing a health or health-related problem. Risk factors on the prenatal screen are proven by research to increase risks for poor birth outcomes.

Risk factors on the screen include: age, race, marital status, education, weight,   domestic violence, sexual abuse,  tobacco or  alcohol use, unwanted pregnancy, first pregnancy, previous pregnancy problems or loss of baby, maternal illness, and late entry into prenatal care.  A score on the screen of 6 or more indicates the pregnant woman is at risk for a poor birth outcome, and is automatically referred to Healthy Start with her consent. Please make sure to check "referred to Healthy Start" in the provider section of the screen.

What are Healthy Start Services?

Please see more information about our services here.

Will the Healthy Start Program Contact me about the Patient?

After the Coalition has received and processed the screens, we make three attempts to contact your patient with the number provided. If we are unable to contact them, the Connect Coordinator may call to get an alternative phone number if any are on file. The Connect Coordinator will also follow up with a fax detailing the patient's acceptance or refusal of services. If they are referred to the Healthy Start Care Coordination Team, they will also follow up with you.

The Healthy Start Care Coordinator for your patient will send you a letter with information about the client’s acceptance or refusal of the program.  The Care Coordinator may also call you if she is concerned about the client’s attendance at prenatal care appointments or is having difficulty locating the client. This personal health information sharing is allowed under HIPAA.  The Care Coordinator will call you if she has any other concerns.

What is the Difference between the Healthy Start Coalition and the Healthy Start Program?

The Healthy Start Coalition of Escambia County is a non-profit organization which helps set priorities to meet local needs in maternal and infant health.  Members of the community are invited to serve on the Coalition or any of its committees.  Our phone number is (850) 696-2291.

The Healthy Start Program of the Escambia County Health Department is our sub-contractor for Care Coordination services and data management. Care Coordination is the key to service provision for Healthy Start clients.  A highly qualified staff of Registered Nurses and Health Educators assure that each client’s needs are addressed.

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